Thieves targeting occupied homes

WARNING: Inspector Lisa Musgrove.
WARNING: Inspector Lisa Musgrove.
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BRAZEN burglars are raiding Wearside houses – despite homeowners still being inside.

There has been a spate of aggravated burglaries across the city in recent days in which properties have been broken into while their occupants have been at home.

The thieves make a grab for whatever they can before being confronted by home-owners often left terrified by the ordeal.

Now, police are warning householders to make sure their doors and windows are locked to shut out the crooks.

In the latest crime, at 3.15am, on Sunday, two intruders were discovered by occupants of an address in Albany Village Centre, Washington.

They pair made off with a handbag and mobile phone after coming face to face with the shocked householders.

Officers arrested a 51-year-old man and 16-year-old boy nearby in connection with the raid. They have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Last Thursday, at around 12.35pm, a woman returned home and disturbed a burglar in her home at Meadow View, Herrington.

He ran off from the house carrying a white pillowcase with stolen jewellery inside. The woman was shocked but was not injured.

Last Tuesday, a homeowner was left with stab wounds after coming face to face with an at his home in Lawnswood, Houghton. Ralph Allison, 52, was left with cuts to his hands and legs following the assault.

Inspector Lisa Musgrove, of Northumbria Police, said: “We have additional neighbourhood officers on patrol in this area to carry out inquiries and to reassure the community.”

Inspector Dave Pickett, of Sunderland West’s neighbourhood policing team, added: “Our officers are doing all they can to prevent burglaries in the area, target suspected offenders and put them before the courts.

“A lot of burglaries can be avoided if security steps are taken to make sure homes are secure.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is not to give thieves easy access.

“It takes only seconds for suspects to go through an unlocked door or open window and make off with goods undetected.”