Police have arrested a group of suspected thieves after they broke into a BMW showroom twice in one morning.
In the early hours of Sunday (Jan 10) morning, Police were alerted to a break-in at the showroom on Boldon Business Park in South Tyneside, Chronicle Live reported.
It was believed two intruders had gained access to the site at 2.15am and targeted a BMW X6, stealing its wheels before leaving the scene.
But shorty after 7.45am, officers received another report that the business had been targeted again.
Arriving at the scene, police officers discovered the showroom had this time been broken into and a 3 Series had been stolen.
The car was found just a short distance away after the thieves abandoned it having crashed through a fence near The Travelling Man pub, just metres up the road from the showroom.
A search of the area by officers resulted in two women, aged 29 and 31, arrested under suspicion of burglary. Alloy wheels thought to belong to the previously targeted X6 were also found in the car.
Witnesses claimed a third occupant had escaped from the area in another a car. Police later tracked down a Ford Mondeo and stopped it in the Castletown area of Sunderland.
Officers discovered suspected stolen number plates and tools thought to be associated with the break-in, and arrested a 30-year-old male on suspicion of burglary. A 34-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man were also brought into custody on suspicion of helping the man.
Detective Inspector Neal Craig said: ‘This was a fantastic piece of teamwork between officers from different departments.
‘Their professionalism and dedication when responding to the break-ins ensured we were able to successfully detain five suspects and seize a significant amount of evidence that could prove invaluable – as well as the stolen tyres.
‘There is no place for criminality such as this in our city, and it is especially disappointing that this has been committed at a time when businesses are facing an uncertain and challenging time with the restrictions currently in place.
‘My message to business owners is one of reassurance – we will not tolerate this kind of offence, and that’s why we are committed to using every tactic at our disposal to put thieves and burglars before the courts.
‘We have dedicated burglary teams across the force tasked with reviewing break-ins, monitoring crime trends and working with our neighbourhood teams to deploy patrolling officers in hotspot areas. That work will continue over the coming weeks and months.’
The five people arrested have all been released on police bail and inquiries continue.