A police dog has been praised by officers after his nose led to the arrest of two suspected fuel thieves last night.
At around 6.50pm last night police received a report that thieves were attempting to steal fuel from vehicles at a business in Dunston.
Officers and police dog Max were dispatched to the scene to check out what was going on and were confronted by two intruders who attempted to flee the area.
They were arrested by officers before PD Max's nose led his handler to fuel, bolt cutters and siphoning equipment that had been discarded nearby.
The two men, aged 29 and 28, were taken into custody but they have been released under investigation pending further enquiries by police.
Now a top cop has praised the responding officers and said that PD Max's support was invaluable to collecting potentially "vital" evidence in the case.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox said: "PD Max is a fantastic asset to the force and you can tell that our dogs really love the work they do.
"In this particular case our officers were quickly on scene and it was a great bit of teamwork between Max, his handler and the officers to locate two suspects.
"The goods that Max recovered could be a vital part of the case and enquiries into the theft will continue in the coming days and weeks.
"This yard has been targeted before and Max's nose could help uncover further offences as the investigation develops.
"He deserves a lot of credit and I hope that he has had a relaxing day today after what turned in to a very eventful nightshift for him and his handler."
If you have information about this theft then police ask you to contact them on 101 quoting log 856 09/05/19 or email email@example.com.
Anyone who notices any suspicious behaviour is always encouraged to contact police on 101 or online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.
In an emergency, if a crime is in action or if there is an immediate risk to person or property always call 999.