The Chronicle

Burglary suspects hit with Covid fines


TWO suspected burglars were hit by Covid fines while being arrested on suspicion of raiding a pensioner’s home – after they were found by police socialisin­g in the same home.

The men were found together, in breach of the Tier 2 restrictio­ns stopping separate households from mixing indoors, as police went to arrest one of the men following the break-in.

Not only were they arrested on suspicion of burglary but they were also each handed a £200 fine for being in the same home.

Police had first received a call on October 16 from a man who reported that his father’s flat in Redheugh Court in Dunston, Gateshead had been burgled overnight.

The concerned son had been cleaning the home on Thursday while his 67-year-old father was in hospital with illhealth.

He had also bought some new kitchen appliances and other homeware and left them in the flat in preparatio­n for his father returning from hospital.

But when he returned the next day, he was horrified to find the goods bought to help make life easier for his father had been stolen in the night.

A vacuum cleaner, microwave, kettle, toaster, new bedding set and Amazon Fire Stick were all taken by intruders. They also stole the victim’s TV and a coin collection.

Neighbourh­ood officers quickly launched an investigat­ion and reviewed CCTV from the communal area of the block of flats to try to locate the people responsibl­e.

Those inquiries led to the identifica­tion of two suspects and when they went to the home of one of the men they found them both inside socialisin­g.

Neighbourh­ood Inspector Alan Davison, who covers the west of Gateshead, praised the response of officers who were able to quickly identify the suspects.

He said: “We were able to quickly identify suspects through CCTV and this case is a real example of officers that know their patch.

“Not only did that work lead to the arrest of two suspected thieves but we were also able to return the stolen property back to the victim and his kindhearte­d son.”

The two men arrested, aged 40 and 36, were both charged with burglary and appeared at South Tyneside Magistrate­s’ Court. The 36-year-old was remanded in custody and the 40-year-old man was released on bail while being subject to a curfew.

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