Suspected Sunderland thief arrested within nine minutes of call from witness

A suspected thief was arrested less than ten minutes after a witness reported seeing a man trying to break into cars in Sunderland.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:15 pm

Northumbria Police was contacted by a member of the public after she spotted a man acting suspiciously in the Roker Avenue area around 11pm last night, Monday, November 29.

The woman said she had seen a man trying a number of car doors on the street and was now heading towards the city centre.

Officers were dispatched to check the area, and within nine minutes of the original call coming in, a 21-year-old man who matched the description given by the caller had been detained. He remains in police custody at this time.

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The man, who was also found to be in possession of a suspected stolen bank card, cash and a mobile phone, will be interviewed in connection with a range of offences throughout the day.

Inspector Steve Prested said the force was grateful for support from the public: “This was another example of the public and officers working together to ensure a suspected thief is swiftly placed under arrest,” he said.

“I would like to thank the witness who absolutely did the right thing by reporting the suspicious activity, and her detailed account allowed us to get officers to the scene within minutes and identify a suspect who we believe to have been responsible.

“That suspect is now in custody – and I hope this incident offers reassurance to the community. As ever, you are our eyes and ears so if you see anything untoward, always report it to us.

The suspect was spotted in Roker Avenue, heading towards the city centre

“We are fortunate that this area is among the safest to live and work in the entire country, but we are committed to taking swift and robust action against the minority who look to prey on others.

“We will not tire in working together with the public and our partners in order to ensure thieves and burglars are brought to justice and ultimately taken off our streets.”

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And he encouraged members of the public to take a few extra steps in order to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of opportunistic crime in the run-up to the festive season.

“As we head towards Christmas, as ever, I would encourage people to take that extra bit of time to ensure their cars and homes are locked, and ensure any valuables are kept out of sight,” he said.

“Quite often, opportunistic thieves can go street-to-street hoping to find a car or front door that has been left unlocked. If it is locked, they move on to the next area.

“Please remind your loved ones to take those extra steps, and in turn, we will continue to patrol our streets and do everything in our power to provide effective justice against perpetrators.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their community is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northunbria force website. In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.

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