Sleeping burglar woken by barking police dog after breaking into South Shields house

A sleepy burglar who broke into a home and decided to catch forty winks got a shock wake-up call – after coming face-to-face with a barking police dog.

At about 8.25pm on Sunday, July 19, a resident contacted police to say a man had forced entry to a vacant property on Freemantle Road, which runs between Quarry Lane and Sutton Way, in South Shields.

Northumbria Police officers attended after the witness reported they had seen the intruder climb into the house through a rear window.

Police dog Raven was deployed and within minutes the seven-year-old Dutch Herder and her handler Pc Lora Smiles had found the man fast asleep in one of the bedrooms of the house.

Police dog Raven caught a burglar after sniffing him out when he broke into a house in Freemantle Road in South Shields. Street photo copyright of Google Maps.

Nothing was stolen and officers suspect the intruder had forced entry to the property to rest his head for the night.

However, further checks established the 44-year-old was wanted for a separate burglary and had been trying to evade arrest for a number of weeks.

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Pc Smiles, of Northumbria Police’s Dog Section, said: “This was one of the more straight forward finds that Raven has had to do in her career to date.


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“She quickly searched the house but the suspect was not trying very hard to hide and was snoozing away in the bed upstairs.

“Nothing was stolen but he was promptly woken up by a barking police dog and taken into custody where he could continue to dream in a cell.

“We have since established the man was wanted for another burglary in the South Shields area last month so it was a successful result.

“This would not have been possible without the vigilance of the neighbour who made the call so we want to thank them for reporting this suspicious behaviour.”


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The 44-year-old man arrested on suspicion of burglary was charged with that offence and was due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

For more information about the work of the Northumbria Police Dog Section, follow them on Twitter through @npdogsection.

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