Officers arrested Nixon and found him in possession of a six and a-half inch blade without a handle
A light-fingered thief who cut down CCTV cameras during a series of garden raids has been jailed after a neighbour caught him in the act.
Anthony Nixon, 42, was spotted going in and out of gardens in the Hylton Lane Estate area of Sunderland on the morning of November 16 last year.
During his offending spree, he bagged up a range of garden equipment before brazenly wheeling his stolen loot around in a wheelie bin. He also cut down CCTV cameras from an elderly couple's yard and a gym in Grindon.
But an eagle-eyed neighbour saw Nixon was up to no good and contacted police.
Officers were deployed to the scene and apprehended the suspect who was found to be in possession of a stash of stolen goods and a six-and-a-half inch knife blade with no handle.
He was subsequently arrested and pleaded guilty to theft and possessing a bladed article when appearing at Newcastle Crown Court on December 17 last year.
Last week (February 17) he was back in the dock and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
Detective Constable Jaimie Donmall, of Northumbria Police, said: “Anthony Nixon is a prolific thief who has shown a blatant disregard to both the law and the community where he lives.
“On the morning in question, he stole CCTV cameras and various gardening equipment from local residents and a business, before bundling his haul into a wheelie bin.
“Unfortunately for Nixon, an eagle-eyed resident saw what he was up to and gave us a call. That allowed officers to be deployed to the area – and a short time later we caught him red-handed walking down the street in possession of the stolen goods.
“We also located the wheelie bin which he had used to transport the stolen goods discarded at a relative’s home nearby.
“I would like to thank the member of the public who noticed Nixon’s deception and contacted police. Their actions ensured officers arrived at the scene and caught him in the act – which allowed us to return some of the stolen items to the victims.
“Nixon clearly cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society and has been a drain on police resources for some time. I hope he can now reflect on his unacceptable behaviour as he serves a prison sentence.”
Nixon, of Kings Place, Sunderland, admitted two counts of theft, possession of a bladed article, failure to comply with a suspended sentence and failure to surrender to bail in December last year.
He now begins a stretch behind bars.
Some of the stolen garden items remain in police possession as their rightful owners have yet to be identified. Police have asked anyone who lives in the area who believes any of the items may belong to them to call 101 quoting reference 280 161119.