Watch the video footage which helped snare Sunderland and South Tyneside burglary mastermind

Police have released video footage which helped snare the mastermind behind a £170,000 burglary spree.

By Gavin Ledwith, Digital Specialist
Saturday, 11 May, 2019, 16:17

Steven Crombie is beginning more than seven years behind bars after admitting committing a string of offences across both Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Steven Crombie, right, is caught on camera inside a pawnbroker's shop attempting to sell stolen jewellery.

The gang's targets included properties in the Roker area of Sunderland and in Houghton, Cleadon and Whitburn.

Among the items they stole were a black Range Rover, hordes of jewellery, ornamental swords, a prestigious Queen’s OBE award and £36,000 in cash.

A decorative urn containing the ashes of another victim’s deceased father is also still missing.

Police investigating the 2018 spree eventually traced footage of him attempting to sell some of the jewellery to a Newcastle pawnbroker.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

They have also released a video of a brief pursuit in Shiney Row after they spotted him inside the stolen £22,000 Range Rover.

A subsequent search of his home in Hampstead Square, Nookside, Sunderland, found many of the stolen items.

Crombie, 40, last month admitted conspiracy to burgle, burglary in relation to five house raids and theft.

PC Graeme Rockett, of Northumbria Police, said after Friday's sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court: “Steven Crombie has been prolific in his offending and has caused misery to a huge number of residents across Sunderland and South Tyneside.

“He has shown a total disregard to the law and his victims through his selfish actions, and stole a huge amount of property which was of significant sentimental value to the victims."

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the urn, which was taken from a house in Success Road, Houghton, is urged to contact Northumbria Police on 101.