Santa thief nicked!

Date published: 09 January 2014

Lucy Kenderdine and Robbie MacDonald

A FAMILY has praised quick-thinking police and neighbours for stopping a burglar who was running off with their Christmas presents.

Kind-hearted officers even re-wrapped the gifts when they returned them after dusting for fingerprints!

Police were called by a neighbour and rushed to the house in Hardman Street on December 27, only minutes after the family had gone out. The neighbour saw a man smashed a ground-floor window to get in, then ran off with the family’s Christmas presents - including two new laptop computers and a mobile phone.

The caller gave police an accurate description and within five minutes PC Carl Doyle and his colleagues made an arrest.

A spokesman for the family said: “The children were a bit wary that the thief might come back but I’ve reassured them that he won’t. We want to thank our neighbours and the police. The girls took a card and flowers to one neighbour for all that she has done.

“The police have also been really helpful. The presents were returned here after four days, once they had been tested for fingerprints, and the police even rewrapped most of them, which was nice..

“The children are happy they’ve got their presents back.”

Insp Steve Hubbard, whose team made the arrest, said: “We recovered all the presents straight away so the family’s Christmas wasn’t ruined.

“This just shows how different the outcome can be if neighbours and members of the public call us straight away when they spot crimes going on in their neighbourhood.

Jason Barker (41), of Britannia Avenue, Shaw, has been charged with burglary.