Prolific Sunderland burglar among 65 arrests in Christmas crime crackdown Operation Sleigh

Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper

A prolific burglar is behind bars after being arrested as part of a Christmas crime crackdown.

Mark Cooper was sentenced to 35 weeks in custody after being arrested as part of Northumbria Police's Christmas burglary campaign Operation Sleigh.

Police said the 38-year-old was detained trying to gain entry to St Anthony's Academy, in Thornhill Terrace, Sunderland, in the early hours of Wednesday, December 6.

An investigation then found he was also responsible for a burglary at the Tipsy Cow pub, in Bridge Street, where cash was stolen from the till and alcohol also taken.

Cooper, of Blind Lane, Sunderland, was charged with a burglary and an attempted burglary and has now been jailed after admitting all the charges against him at Sunderland Magistrates Court this week.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling, who is leading Operation Sleigh, said the force had made 65 arrests in the first week of the campaign and promised more police activity to come.

He said: "This is a great result that will see a prolific burglar taken off our streets and achieves exactly what Op Sleigh is ultimately about - putting burglars behind bars for Christmas.

"He is now in prison where he will not be able to target any innocent families this winter. I'm sure he will not be the last person we can take off the streets as part of this operation.

"Burglary is a priority all year long and we know that at this time of the year the fear of burglary increases.

"That is why we have put extra resources into targeting burglars this month and why we will continue to do everything we can to disrupt known burglars and put offenders before the courts.

"If you commit burglary in Southern Area command this is the kind of response you can expect."

If anyone has intelligence about a burglar operating in their area then they can contact police on 101 or by submitting an online reporting form at www.northumbria.pnn.police.uk/contact