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Roof rescue teen raider on the run; CROOK CAUGHT AFTER BREAK-IN FAILS TO APPEAR IN COURT.

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

HE FLED from the scene of a burglary by crawling across the roof of a Tyneside terrace.

And now this teen cat burglar is on the run from justice.

The 14-year-old, who admitted his part in a bungled break-in after being arrested on the roof of the home he raided, should have appeared in court for sentencing on Thursday. But magistrates at Gosforth Youth Court issued a warrant for his arrest after he failed to turn up for the hearing.

The fugitive, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was dramatically snared as he tried to make his getaway by scampering across the tiles on top of homes in Heaton Road, Heaton, Newcastle.

Firefighters had to use an aerial ladder to bring the teenager to ground after homeowner Damiano Rea found the teen and two other intruders in his flat, and chased them out of a skylight.

The boy was arrested and charged with burglary, soon after being rescued from the roof.

The drama unfolded when Mr Damiano came home during the early hours of a Sunday morning, last month, to discover his back door was open

and two intruders were in his dining room.

Desperate to protect his wife and baby sleeping upstairs, the 31-year-old attempted to chase the raiders from his home.

But instead of leaving by the open back door, the burglars ran upstairs and escaped through the skylight.

Damiano watched as two lads jumped nearly 30ft from the roof to a garage, while his wife Ksenia, 32, called police.

The dad-of-one is a landlord who owns a number of properties on the street and has CCTV in the office attached to his home.

When he checked the footage, he was hit with the realisation there had been three burglars, and one of the intruders could still be in his home, where five-month-old baby Alessia was sleeping.

After searching their home and finding nothing, the Reas went back to bed.

But before the couple drifted off to sleep, Mr Rea heard a noise on his roof. The dad called police again, and scores of officers arrived on Heaton Road, along with the fire service and paramedics.

He watched on as firefighters rescued the hooded roof raider as he tried to scurry across the tiles.

"There were about 10 police cars, 30 police officers, a fire engine, and the police helicopter was hovering above," Mr Rea said. "And then they got him off the roof."

The teenager pleaded guilty to burglary when he appeared in court earlier this month.

But magistrates adjourned the case before sentencing and released him on bail.

However, he failed to show up on Thursday and is now being hunted by police.

CAPTION(S):

NOWHERE TO GO: The suspect on the roof, and, Damiano Rea with wife Ksenia and daughter Alessia
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2010
Words:470
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