Two suspected thieves were arrested within minutes, as a woman spotted the pair trying to break into vehicles in Whitley Bay.
Just after 3am yesterday (Thursday November 10), officers were contacted by a concerned member of the public. The woman reported that she had seen two individuals acting suspiciously in the Thorntree Avenue area of Whitley Bay.
The woman alleged that the duo were trying to open a number of car doors and accessing those cars that were open. Officers were sent to the scene, and within 10 minutes one of the men (a 19-year-old) was placed in handcuffs.
A short while later, the second man - a 21-year-old - was also arrested with the help of a police dog. Both men have since been released on bail, pending further enquiries.
Chief Inspector Laura Douglas, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was another example of the public and officers working together to ensure suspected thieves are swiftly placed under arrest.
“I would like to thank the witness who absolutely did the right thing by reporting the suspicious activity, and her detailed account allowed us to get officers silently to the scene within minutes and identify who we believe to have been responsible.
“We’re fortunate that the vast majority of those living in the North East are honest, hard working people – but we are committed to taking swift and robust action against the minority who look to prey on others. We will not tire in working together with the public and our partners in order to ensure thieves and burglars are brought to justice and ultimately taken off our streets.”
Chief Inspector Douglas is also urging residents to inspect their cars and report to police if any items appear to be missing. She also encouraged the public to take extra steps and precaution to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime.
She added: “As we head towards Christmas, as ever, I would encourage people to take that extra bit of time to ensure their cars and homes are locked, and ensure any valuables are kept out of sight.
“Quite often, opportunistic thieves can go street to street hoping to find a car or front door that has been left unlocked. If it is locked, they move on to the next area.
“Please remind your loved ones to take those extra steps, and in turn, we will continue to patrol our streets and do everything in our power to deliver effective justice against perpetrators.”
Anyone who notices any suspicious activity is asked to contact police via the Tell Us Something page of the Northumbria Police website. In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, please ring 999.