An eagle-eyed resident has helped stop a trio of would-be burglars in their tracks.
Police were alerted to a gang who were trying door handles in a street in the Westoe area of South Shields, and a police swoop led to three arrests.
The alarm had been raised by a resident, at 12.45pm, on Wednesday after he had become concerned at what he was seeing.
Three men, aged 25, 22 and 19 years old, have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
The arrest has prompted a call by Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton to remind people to lock their doors.
At the West Shields, Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn Community Area Forum, Insp Sutton revealed that, while burglaries to homes are down compared with last year, recently there had been a slight increase.
He said a high percentage of the homes hit had been left insecure.
He said one property had a flat screen TV stolen from it after thieves got in through an open sitting room window.
Praising the resident for the call, Insp Sutton said: “The caller did a fantastic job in alerting the police to what was happening, giving a detailed description to officers which resulted in arrests being made.
“It also shows how important it is for people to keep their doors locked at all times.”
Over the past few months, information from residents to police has helped officers to stop opportunist criminals as well as smash a number of cannabis farms in South Tyneside.
Insp Sutton added: “As this incident shows, information passed to officers can make a real difference.
“We would actively encourage people, if they are concerned about suspicious behaviour in the street where they live, to contact police.”
Police can be contacted on 101.
Information which doesn’t require an immediate response can be e-mailed to:
* For those living in West Shields or the Riverside: firstname.lastname@example.org
* East Shields, Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn: email@example.com
* Hebburn or Jarrow: firstname.lastname@example.org