Suspected burglars slapped with Covid fines after being found socialising in same household

Suspected burglars slapped with Covid fines after being found socialising in same household

Two suspected burglars who were arrested on suspicion of raiding the home of a pensioner have also been hit with Covid fines – after being found socialising in the same household.

The action comes after police received a call from a man who reported that his father’s flat in Dunston, Gateshead, had been burgled overnight.

The concerned son had been cleaning the home last Thursday (October 15) while his 67-year-old father was in hospital with ill health, reports Chronicle Live.

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 highly sentimental 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 enquiries 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.

Not only were they arrested on suspicion of burglary but they were also each handed a £200 fine for being in the same address when they reside at separate households.

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 kind-hearted son.

“Burglary is an intrusive crime that can have a significant impact on victims and I know it must be incredibly difficult for this to take place when he is already dealing with his own ill health.

“I hope that our quick response, and the return of the property, has brought them some comfort at this difficult time and reassures the wider community about our commitment to dealing with burglary offences.

“Not only will these two men face a day in court, but they’re now out of pocket because they chose not to adhere to Coronavirus regulations introduced to keep us all safe.”

The two men arrested, aged 40 and 36, were both charged with burglary and appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The 36-year-old was remanded in custody and the 40-year-old man was released on bail while being subject to a curfew. They are both due to appear in court again next month.

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