Man to appear in court after elderly targeted in spate of thefts
31 Jul 2018 14:00 PM[View Full Size]
A man has appeared in court after reports elderly people were targeted in a spate of burglaries in Newcastle.
An investigation was launched by detectives at Northumbria Police after a care home in the west end of the city reported the rooms of five residents had been targeted by thieves.
A mobile phone was reported stolen from one room, a handbag from another but nothing was missing from the other three rooms during the burglary on Sunday, July 22.
Two days later, a 93-year-old reported £10,000 in cash had been stolen from her home in Elswick after a man had been enquiring about carrying out work.
Northumbria Police's Central Burglary Team have been investigating the incidents and on Sunday they arrested a man in connection with the thefts.
The 35-year-old was later charged with six counts of burglary and yesterday (Monday) appeared before Bedlington Magistrates’ Court.
Now, he has been remanded in custody ahead of a future hearing at Newcastle Crown Court in August.
Following the burglary reports, Superintendent Steve Barron offered general advice about helping to protect vulnerable people such as the elderly from being targeted by opportunist thieves.
He said: "We have hand-picked officers in our Central Burglary Team who are dedicated to protecting residents in our region from opportunist thieves.
"Through the work they do, we know that vulnerable people such as the elderly may be targeted by offenders.
"That could be through distraction tactics, befriending the victim or by entering a property through an insecure door.
"If you have vulnerable family members, or live next door to an elderly person who lives alone, then you can help us keep them safe.
"Call us about any suspicious people you see hanging around the address and check in with them to make sure they are okay.
"If vulnerable people are targeted then we will work hard to arrest a suspect and put them before the court."
Northumbria Police last week revealed that, since their formation in 2015, the Central Burglary Team have put burglars behind bars for more than 10,000 months.
They have been so successful that their model has been adopted in other local authority areas across the force.
It also emerged earlier this month that residents in Northumbria are less likely to fall victims to household crime, including burglary, then anywhere else in the country.
The public are encouraged to contact police to report any suspicious behaviour in their local community by calling 101.
You can also report suspicious activity online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For guidance: The man charged is John Griffiths, 35, of Welbeck Road, Newcastle, and he will now appear at Newcastle Crown Court on August 28 . We also released CCTV images in relation to the care home burglary at Ashton Court Care Home, we would ask these are now removed from any websites or social media, as this is the crime mentioned in the above copy.