Bogus gardener warning after South Shields house raid

The damage to the house
The damage to the house

A burglary victim in South Tyneside has warned of the dangers of opportunist thieves after cash was looted from his porch in a broad daylight raid.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, says the suspect was spotted carrying a garden strimmer and posing as a handyman to approach the property in Capulet Grove, Simonside.

Once there, it is thought he used the strimmer to smash a large porch window of the semi-detached, snatching an envelope containing £80.

The money was owed to the homeowner and had been pushed through the letterbox moments before the attack, which happened at 10.35am last Friday.

The perpetrator, believed to be aged between 20 and 30, even stopped to asked the payer if it was her house as she left the scene.

Seconds later, neighbours heard breaking glass and raised the alarm.

The man was seen shortly afterwards walking towards Tyne Dock Metro station, still carrying the strimmer.

The householder, who is aged in his 50s, said: “It was a brazen attack – this man needs to be caught.

“That someone could come to your home in broad daylight and do this makes you feel unsafe.

“The money had just been pushed through the door by a friend – this guy was so close that he even asked her if anyone was at home before walking up towards the front door.

“He was seen clearly by my friend and I’m hopeful that her description will help the police to catch him.

“He was so brazen that he even asked her if she lived there as she was walking away, then pretended to go to the front door to ask about doing some gardening.

“Not only was the £80 taken, but the whole window was put out which will cost me about £100 to repair.”

Northumbria Police said the incident was being investigated and appealed for witnesses.

A spokeswoman added: “We received a report of a burglary to a house in Capulet Grove.

“An offender smashed the glass of the front window porch and stole an envelope inside the porch containing cash before making off.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference 330 of 22/09/17.