Thief cut down CCTV cameras when stealing from gardens is caught in the act by a neighbour

A criminal spotted going in and out of people’s gardens on a Sunderland estate has been jailed for theft after being caught cutting down CCTV cameras by a neighbour.

Anthony Nixon, 42, was seen bagging up equipment, wheeling the stolen goods in a bin and cutting down CCTV cameras in the Hylton Lane Estate.

But his thieving actions were spotted by a neighbour, who contacted Northumbria Police.

On arrival at the scene, officers found that Nixon was also in possession of a six-and-a-half inch knife blade with no handle as well as the bounty he had stolen.

Anthony Nixon has been sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

Nixon, of Kings Place, Sunderland, admitted two counts of theft, possession of a bladed article, failure to comply with a suspended sentence and failure to surrender to bail.

He was sentenced to 15 months in jail at Newcastle Crown Court, and now begins a stretch behind bars.

The 42-year-old learned his fate on Monday, February 17 after admitting the offences at an earlier hearing in December at the same court.

Hailing him as a “prolific thief”, Detective Constable Jaimie Donmall criticised Nixon’s “blatant disregard” for both the law and the community he lives in.

The CCTV cameras, left, and the knife blade found by officers.

In a statement, the officer continued: “I would like to thank the member of the public who noticed Nixon’s deception and contacted police.

“Their actions ensured officers arrived at the scene and caught him in the act – which allowed us to return some of the stolen items to the victims.

“Nixon clearly cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society and has been a drain on police resources for some time. I hope he can now reflect on his unacceptable behaviour as he serves a prison sentence.”

Nixon was spotted in gardens by the neighbour on Saturday, November 16 2019.

Some of the stolen garden items remain in police possession as their rightful owners have yet to be identified.

Northumbria Police has asked anyone who lives in the area and believes any of the items may belong to them to call the force on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 280 161119.