Suspected burglar arrested after alleged 'quick-fire' raids in South Shields - police traced suspect after phone dropped at scene
A suspected burglar was arrested after alleged ‘quick-fire break-ins’ when officers found his mobile phone at the scene.
Police were called to the Hobart Avenue area of South Shields after a woman woke to find an intruder in her home at about 4am on Thursday, July 22.
After hearing a noise from the kitchen, she went downstairs to confront the raider – who reportedly quickly escaped through a window and made off after allegedly swiping her bank card and other items.
Then 90 minutes later, at about 5.30am, officers were called to a second burglary in the Capulet Grove area of the town.
The homeowner heard a noise coming from outside and saw a man breaking into his shed.
The victim sprang into action and challenged the alleged crook – who made off on a pedal bike having reportedly taken a number of tools.
When police attended and searched the area they found a mobile phone had been discarded or dropped in the garden.
Suspecting it belonged to the raider, officers tracked the number which led them to the front door of their prime suspect.
Officers said the incidents are being treated as linked and police have since arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of burglary.
Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith, of Northumbria Police, said: “Both of these incidents happened within a short timeframe and involved the victim waking up to find an intruder trying to steal from them.
“Burglary is such an intrusive crime and this must have been a shocking experience for both victims. We are committed to ensuring the person responsible is swiftly brought to justice.
“Upon attending both scenes, we were able to locate a mobile phone in one of the gardens which did not belong to the occupant – which we believe could have been dropped accidentally by the suspect when he was disturbed.“Enquiries are ongoing into both incidents but I would like to thank both victims for the incredible bravery they showed and their cooperation since.
"A full investigation has been launched and we will use every tactic at our disposal to ensure those responsible are put before the courts.”
Det Sgt Raper-Smith leads the Force’s Southern Burglary Team, tasked with reviewing every break-in across Sunderland and South Tyneside.
He has encouraged families to take an extra second to ensure their doors and windows are locked to help deter opportunistic criminals.
He added: “What we are seeing is that some criminals are going street to street hoping to find an open door or window in order to get a quick win. If the door or window is locked, they simply move on to the next house.
“We would always ask people to check and double check a few simple things that could reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of crime.
“Please always check the doors and windows to your home are locked, as well as your car, and please ensure any valuables are kept out of sight.
“By working together, we can continue to tackle opportunistic thieves and burglars and ensure this region remains a safe place to live and work."
Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness added: “It’s great to see the work of the force and the burglary team as part of Northumbria’s crime prevention efforts."Burglary is a horrible crime that makes people feel unsafe in their own home, but it’s one that is being actively targeted by your police force.
“I’ll continue to support Northumbria Police in their efforts to crack down on burglars.”
The man arrested has since been charged with burglary. He is due to appear in court later this year.
Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information about either break-in is encouraged to contact police by using the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website or by calling 101 quoting log NP-20210722-0176.