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Shedload of trouble; Teen suspect arrested following spate of garden raids.

Byline: DAN WARBURTON

HIDING his head in shame, this is the youngster suspected of being behind a garden raiding racket.

The baby-faced teen was shackled by police as officers executed a warrant at his Tyneside home.

And they seized an Aladdin's Cave of stolen stash believed to have been plundered from hard-working homeowners. It follows a spate of thefts from garden sheds and garages in which thousands of pounds worth of equipment has been stolen. When officers scoured his terraced house on Rutland Square, Birtley, Gateshead, they seized a haul of drugs, a bicycle and a mini-moto.

Now Tyneside officers have vowed to stamp out thefts from garden sheds and garages and staged a series of raids to re-unite the ill-gotten gains of criminals with their owners.

Insp Paul Hamilton, of the Gateshead South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Items have been seized including a pedal cycle, motor bike, minimoto, drugs and associated paraphernalia. We will continue to take robust action to put a stop to criminal behaviour and I hope this activity acts as a warning to anyone involved in crime that we will catch up with them.

"It's important we continue these sorts of operations and police activities in an effort to make our neighbourhoods even safer places to live."

Operation Fitzroy has seen suspected thieves given an early morning wake-up call as Gateshead police vie to rid the streets of thieves who cause misery for others. Since May 1 there have been 11 shed and garage break-ins in the Low Fell area where thieves have stolen high value bikes.

In one incident thieves stole tools worth pounds 900, including a jigsaw and cordless drill from a backyard shed at a house in Beech Gardens.

And just yards away a pounds 700 bike was lifted from another premises.

On Friday, May 6 thieves broke into a garage in Kells Garden and stole four bikes worth over pounds 3,000.

And three days later they used bolt cutters to force their way into a garage on Durham Road and got away with a bike worth pounds 1,000.

Two more bikes worth over pounds 800 and a lawn mower were stolen from a garage in Frome Gardens.

Acting Sgt Chris Millar said thefts had dropped since the raids had taken place and he urged owners to double-lock their bikes. He said: "Residents can stop thieves in their tracks by registering their bikes and other property on www.immobilise.

com which is supported by Northumbria Police. "They should also consider getting their bike security marked so if it is stolen it can be returned. People can check Northumbria Police's website for details of free bike marking events."

CAPTION(S):

POLICE ACTION A police officer recovers the mini-moto confiscated from the house in Birtley OPERATION Police lead the youngster away from his home in Rutland Square, Birtley, where they found a haul of drugs and suspected stolen goods
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2011
Words:486
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