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Two people arrested after residents detain suspected car thieves who were spotted targeting unlocked cars in Sunderland

Two suspected car thieves have been arrested after they were allegedly seen targeting unlocked cars by residents in Sunderland.

By Georgina Cutler
Monday, 9th August 2021, 5:08 pm

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Police arrived at the scene in Castletown where residents had detained two suspected thieves.
Police arrived at the scene in Castletown where residents had detained two suspected thieves.

Officers received a call from a concerned resident at around 5.20am on Sunday, August 8, who had witnessed two people who were trying a number of car doors and loading items into the back of a vehicle in Penrith Road.

Police arrived at the scene where a number of residents had emerged from their homes and challenged the suspected thieves before detaining the duo until officers arrived.

A number of suspected stolen goods were seized from their vehicle before officers ran checks on the VW Tiguan and discovered it had also been reported as stolen.

A 40-year-old man has been charged with nine offences including burglary, attempted burglary and vehicle interference, while a 31-year-old woman has been charged with two counts of attempted burglary and two counts of vehicle interference.

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The Force have today praised residents on Penrith Road and the surrounding streets following the incident.

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Detective Sergeant Neil Swainston, from Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team said: “These arrests were ultimately the result of a community coming together and challenging two individuals who appeared to be up to no good.

“We were able to respond quickly to the report and place a suspect under arrest but it was the residents themselves who helped detain the second suspect.

"Because of that intervention we were able to recover a haul of what we believe to be stolen property and place two suspected thieves before the courts the very next day.

"While we would never encourage anyone to put themselves at risk, we want to thank those heroes who helped protect their community at the weekend.

“We hope our quick response reassures you that we take offences of this nature seriously and will work closely with you to deliver justice and make you feel safe.”

Both suspects were due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court today, Monday, August 9 but police say the man is already subject to a prison recall and so will be returned to custody regardless of the outcome at court.

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