Gateshead resident leads dramatic chase to detain serial criminal from neighbour’s house

It was a dramatic Wednesday afternoon in Gateshead last week

The entrance to Watson Street, where the incident happened (Image: Google Streetview)
The entrance to Watson Street, where the incident happened (Image: Google Streetview)
The entrance to Watson Street, where the incident happened (Image: Google Streetview)

A Gateshead man has been labelled a 'Good Samaritain' by Northumbria Police after a heroic effort to catch a serial criminal.

The incident happened at around 4:30 pm on Watson Street in Gateshead on Wednesday, September 29.

The would-be thief, Dale Unsworth, attempted to break into the property but didn't expect his antics to be curtailed by a neighbour.

Unsworth used a garden spade to smash a window at the back of the house, unaware he had been spotted.

The 28-year-old has previous convictions for burglary was approached and confronted by the Good Samaritan, who chased him through the garden and detained him, while another neighbour called the police.

Officers were soon at the scene where Unsworth was arrested and also found to be in possession of a screwdriver.

Within 48 hours the burglar had also been charged and convicted with attempted burglary and possession of an offensive weapon.

On October 1, he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to both charges and is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on October 29.

Detective Sergeant Dave Lumsden of Northumbria Police’s Central Burglary team praised the bravery of the neighbour who helped detain Unsworth.

He said: “Unsworth was about to help himself to someone else’s possessions when he was caught in the act by a selfless neighbour who didn’t think twice about detaining him and contacting us.

“These brave actions coupled with witness testimonies have helped us pull together a strong prosecution case, and some fantastic work by all our criminal justice partners has now resulted in Unsworth being arrested, charged and convicted within 48 hours.

“We understand the serious and detrimental effect that burglaries can have on our communities and we will continue to tackle this type of criminality.

“I’d like to once again take this opportunity to thank everyone who played their part in helping us achieve this positive outcome – from those who first reported it to police all the way through to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the courts. It was a real team effort.”