A thief smashed a window and made a grab for items to snatch from a cafe before running off with his loot when he was confronted.
The burglary happened at 3.55am on Friday at Zachos Café in Chester Road in the city centre, opposite Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The offender smashed a window at the café.
He ran off with a number of items after being confronted by a member of the public.
Officers are carrying out enquiries into the burglary and are appealing for witnesses.
Anyone with information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 102 241117 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.