A burglar who targeted the homes of elderly people is now behind bars as police warn others 'you will be caught'.
Christopher Rutherford is one of a number of criminals who found themselves in the dock throughout April charged with burglary offences.
The 34 year-old of no fixed abode burgled three properties in St Columba Court, Southwick, Sunderland in October.
His victims were all elderly men aged 71, 71, and 87.
He was was jailed for four years at Newcastle Crown Court on April 7.
Other burglars from Sunderland and South Tyneside also jailed for burglary offences include:
Kirk Blakey, 37, of Winskell Road, South Shields, was sentenced to more than two years at Newcastle Crown Court on April 5 after a burglary in Lulworth Avenue, Jarrow in July.
He was sentenced to 876 days imprisonment for burglary and six months for a separate charge of theft from the person. The sentences will be served concurrently;
John Bothick, 40, of Hexham Avenue in Hebburn, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on April 5 where he was sentenced to 29 months for an attempted burglary in Park Villa View in Jarrow earlier this year and handling stolen goods;
On April 11, Jordan Lee Roche, 18, of Glenmoor in Hebburn, was sentenced to 14 months after a burglary in Parliament Street in South Shields;
On April 11 Alex William Evans, who is 19 and from Helmdon in Sulgrave, received 24 months suspended for 24 months after a burglary in Dovedale Road in Washington;
Jonathan Atkinson, 19, of no fixed abode was given 26 weeks suspended for 12 months for a burglar at Bowmans Place;
On April 12 Karl Dryden, 44, of Station Road, was sentenced to 12 months for two burglaries in Rainton Street in Millfield in September last year;
Paul Jeffrey Robinson, who is 37 and from Saint Leonard Street in Sunderland was given 27 months on April 12 after two burglaries in Chester Road in Millfield in November last year;
And on, April 19, 27-year-old Jason Taylor from Hume Street in Millfield was sentenced to 14 months for a burglary in Croft Avenue.
Chief Inspector Jerry Pearson said: "Protecting our communities from burglars is important - being broken into causes a great deal of distress and we cannot underestimate the impact knowing someone has gone into your home uninvited and been through personal and sentimental items can have on victims. Emotional distress can often be the hidden of cost of burglary, leaving people to feel fearful in their own homes and we will do all we can to pursue those who are responsible and that burglars are put behind bars."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Tackling burglary is an absolute priority for me and I congratulate our officers on this very successful police operation in Sunderland and South Tyneside. I hope this sentencing sends out a message loud and clear to those who break into people’s homes and steal from them - you will be caught and locked up.”
Burglary prevention plays a key part in cracking down on burglars - for burglary prevention advice visit the Northumbria Police website www.northumbria.police.uk