Chronicles

Two arrested after suspected intruders struggled to hide their footprints in the snow

Two teenagers have been arrested after suspected intruders failed to hide their footprints in the snow after a break-in.

At about 4.45am on Wednesday, Northumbria Police received a report from a member of the public about a possible break-in at Brinkburn Community Centre on Harton Lane, South Shields.

The member of the public saw a group of males with balaclavas and tools at the side of the building, seemingly about to break in.

Within minutes, officers were at the scene and the adverse weather conditions played their favour as they quickly spotted footprints in the snow leading to a drainpipe.

Assuming the alleged burglars had scaled it, police supported by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) found further footprints on the roof allowing officers to continue to follow the trail.

Believing the suspects had hidden, the helicopter left the scene, which prompted two teenagers to break cover and run straight into the arms of police who had circled the area.

Two males, aged 15 and 14, were subsequently arrested on suspicion of burglary and remain in police custody at this time.

Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a brilliant all-round response from officers, our Dog Section and the brilliant team at NPAS.

“We were alerted to the break-in by a member of the public who saw something suspicious and absolutely did the right thing by informing us.

“What followed was a swift response, with cops on the scene within three minutes, and the heavy snowfall certainly played into our hands – and proved a significant stumbling block for our suspected intruders.

“With eyes on the ground and above from the helicopter, it was only a matter of time before we were able to detain two teenage suspects who will now be interviewed in connection with the incident.

“I’d like to thank everybody who was involved in this early-morning job – it was a fantastic piece of teamwork which has enabled us to achieve a quick and positive outcome.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their community is asked to report it to the police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101.

In an emergency or if a crime is happening, always ring 999.

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