'Suspicious men' sightings spark police warning in Sunderland

Northumbria Police have received reports of men acting suspiciously in the west end of Sunderland.
Northumbria Police have received reports of men acting suspiciously in the west end of Sunderland.

Police are warning people in Sunderland to stay vigilant after reports of a suspicious men entering unlocked properties and trying to get into cars.

Northumbria Police said officers received a call just before 4pm on Thursday, January 17, that a man had entered a property on Gleneagles Road, Grindon, without the owner’s permission.

The man had walked into the house through an unlocked door but, when he was confronted by the occupant, he acted confused and stated he had entered the address by mistake.

As part of their inquiries, officers were informed by a neighbour that a similar thing had happened to them on the same day.

Police have urged residents to be on their guard and to report any similar incidents.

Detective Constable Alex Hadwin said: "While the victim in this case was uninjured and no items were taken, they did the right thing by reporting suspicious activity to police.

"We are now eager to hear from residents in the Grindon area who may have experienced anything similar but have not yet reported it to police.

"I would like to reassure the community that we take these types of incidents very seriously and actively investigate all reports made to us.

"Many reports involving this type of criminality involve opportunistic thieves trying front doors of properties searching for a quick win. If the door is locked, they will move on to the next house.

"I would therefore ask members of the public to take an extra moment to ensure their door is locked and valuables are not left on display."

Police have also warned motorists to keep their vehicles locked, following a report in the early hours of Thursday, January 17, that a suspicious man had been trying car door handles and garage doors in Felixstowe Road.

DC Hadwin added: "Over the last couple of months, we have arrested a number of people suspected of carrying out burglary and car crime offences in the area and we will continue to investigate crimes and target offenders.

"We would always ask people to double check your car is locked, and don’t leave anything in your vehicle that could be attractive to criminals."

Anyone with information, or who has witnessed anything suspicious in those areas, can contact 101 quoting reference 653 170119 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.