Police apprehended five suspects after an alleged string of crimes over two hours including shoplifting, assault and criminal damage in North Tyneside – with help from the public who provided vital information to help locate them.
Shortly after 2pm on Wednesday, May 10, police received a report of disorder taking place at a supermarket in the Howdon area.
Witnesses reported that a number of males and a female were shoplifting from the shop on Tynemouth Road while also allegedly threatening members of the public with glass bottles.
Officers attended and a 40-year-old man was arrested, although four people managed to flee the scene.
Just one hour later, another report came in of a disturbance at a shop in the Front Street area of Tynemouth that four males and a female had allegedly smashed a door of the premises before attempting to steal alcohol and assaulting a security guard.
The suspects made off minutes before police arrived on the scene.
A short time later, a member of the public called to say that she had witnessed items being stolen from an Amazon delivery driver’s van in a Tynemouth street before the offenders made off in the direction of the town’s Metro station.
Officers worked quickly to follow the suspects, who by this point had got onto the Metro to Whitley Bay. After getting off a train at Whitley Bay Station, officers arrested three males, aged 37, 22, 16, and one female aged 13.
The parcels stolen from the delivery driver were recovered.
Two of those arrested, men aged 40 and 22, have now been charged in relation to offences concerning the incidents including assaulting an emergency worker, shoplifting and criminal damage.
The 37-year-old man has been bailed pending an out of court disposal while the 16-year-old male is currently helping police with their enquiries. The 13-year-old female has been bailed and referred to the Force’s Youth Offending Team.
Following the arrests, Detective Sergeant Carl Wray, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a shocking series of offences which have absolutely no place in our communities.
“Members of the public were prevented from going about their day-to-day business due to the actions of a small minority of people and that is completely unacceptable.
“Our thanks go to the members of the public who immediately called us to report these offences, enabling us to respond swiftly and apprehend the suspects.
“We want local residents, those running and working in businesses and visitors to enjoy the coast without fear and intimidation.
“Our hope is that this sends a strong message to anyone causing disorder in North Tyneside during the spring and summer months that their behaviour will not be tolerated for one instant and the firmest of action will be taken.”
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