Thief who broke into sheds across South Shields faces jail after police bring him to justice in just 72 hours

A thief who broke into a number of sheds and garages across South Shields during a two-day crime spree faces jail.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 4:18 pm
Thomas Knight was arrested, charged and convicted within 72 hours by police.

Thomas Knight, 20, targeted seven sheds, outbuildings and garages in the Marina Drive and Salisbury Street areas of the town during the early hours of Monday, February 15.

Suspecting Knight may try his luck again, police set up a plan in the early hours of Tuesday, February 16 to catch him in the act.

Sure enough, Knight was spotted trespassing in a garden of an address on Broughton Road and officers pounced, arriving at the scene within four minutes.

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Police went on to find two stolen bicycles that had been stashed outside a property where he was temporarily residing on Beach Road, South Shields.

Despite his efforts to make off on foot under the cover of darkness, officers caught him – with the assistance of the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

Police went on to find two stolen bicycles that had been stashed outside a property where he was temporarily residing on Beach Road, South Shields.

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Knight, of no fixed abode, was charged with two counts of burglary and six counts of attempted burglary and appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside on Thursday, February 18.

He admitted all charges, meaning the thief was identified, detained and brought to justice all within 72 hours.

Knight is due to appear before magistrates in Sunderland on March 3 where it will be determined whether he will be sentenced there or at Newcastle Crown Court.

Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith, who leads Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, said: “Burglary is an intrusive crime that we take very seriously – so to have Knight identified, in the cells and convicted within such a short timeframe is a brilliant effort by all our partners across the criminal justice system.

“I’d also like to thank members of the public who picked up the phone and reported these incidents to us.

“As ever, you are our eyes and ears in the community and it is because of the detailed reports given that we were able to put a plan in place to catch the man responsible.

“I hope this swift outcome offers reassurance to our communities and reiterates that we will use every tactic at our disposal to tackle burglary and put those who bring misery to our communities before the courts.”

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