Police officers have praised the actions of a couple from Sutton-on-the-Forest who helped bring their neighbours’ burglar to justice.
Paul Edward Newton, 22 of Regent Avenue, Harrogate was jailed for 18 months last Friday (11 Feb) after being found guilty of burglary at Teesside Crown Court in January.
On the morning of 5 February 2010, a retired couple in their sixties were at home in Stillington Road, Sutton-on-the-Forest when they saw Newton walking in the fields at the rear of their home, he was carrying a black box hidden under a sweat-shirt.
The couple became suspicious and challenged Newton, he told them he was picking up a television set. He was later seen getting into a small blue car and driving off. Still not believing his story, the quick-thinking couple took the registration number of the car and notified the police.
At around lunchtime that day, the couple’s neighbours returned home to find they had been burgled and their safe had been stolen.
Due to the vigilant actions of the retired couple, Newton was arrested that same day and later charged with the burglary.
On a more disturbing note, it transpired that Newton was a friend of their son and they had given him shelter a few years previously when he had nowhere else to stay.
Detective Constable Yvonne Lumbard of Northallerton CID, said: “Our thanks go to the vigilant neighbours in this case whose public spirited actions were instrumental in brining Newton to justice.
“Not only did they provide crucial information which led to the swift arrest of Newton, but they also gave up their free time to attend identification parades and court to give the evidence which led to his conviction.
“Their actions are a great example of the public can help the police to prevent and detect crime.
“Newton’s betrayal of a family who came to his aid in his hour of need is disgraceful. Thanks to two astute members of the community he is now facing the justice he deserves.”
If you see any suspicious activity or vehicles in your neighbourhood, do not hesitate to call the police on 0845 60 60 247. Or, you can give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.