Brazen burglars jailed after officers attend Greggs bakery break-in - and find offenders hiding in the roof
26 Nov | 11:09

Newton & Pickering have both been handed custodial sentences following the incident in Sunderland

Two brazen burglars have been jailed after breaking into a Greggs bakery and attempting to hide from officers in the roof. 

Gavin Newton and Andrew Pickering were rumbled after trying to break into a safe inside the Sunderland bakery last month.

Police were called to the Pallion store shortly after 11.30pm on October 25 and found substantial damage to the ceiling along with a discarded hammer and grinder.

After climbing through a hole in the ceiling to investigate further, cops heard the faint sound of males talking – and it was only a matter of time before the sheepish raiders’ hiding place was discovered.

Newton, 41, and Pickering, 45, were subsequently placed under arrest – and the latter proceeded to falsely give the details of a family member whilst being booked into custody.

Now they have both been convicted after each admitting burglary, while Pickering also pleaded guilty to a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

On Tuesday (November 23), Newton, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 16 months at Newcastle Crown Court.

Just 24 hours later, it was the turn of Pickering, of Marx Crescent, South Stanley, to find himself in the dock as he was sentenced to two years imprisonment at the same court.

Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Robson, of Northumbria Police, today praised the officers who attended the scene and caught the burglars red-handed.

“This was a brazen crime that saw two offenders break into a business premises and try to steal money from the store’s safe,” Det Ch Insp Robson said.

“But their efforts proved to be in vain, and after a member of the public heard the disturbance and contacted us, Newton and Pickering decided to hide in the store’s loft space in a desperate bid to avoid detection.

“Unfortunately for them, their hide-out turned out to be fairly obvious given roof tiles had fallen down onto the floor and officers could hear them chatting.

“Pickering even had the audacity to give false details when he attended custody, clearly knowing that the evidence against him was overwhelming.

“Thankfully these two criminals are now off our streets and I would like to thank all those who played their part in bringing them to justice.

"That includes the member of the public who heard a disturbance and picked up the phone through to the officers who attended the incident and found the pair hiding, as well as the detectives who pulled together this compelling case for court.

“We will continue to do all we can to bring burglars to justice and hope this outcome offers reassurance to businesses across the North-east. It will not be tolerated and we will use everything in our power to ensure a swift prosecution.”

Both men now begin a custodial term.

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