AWOL crook captured in Sidmouth

Police have issued a photograph of a man who is wanted for recall to prison.
Officers are looking

Police have issued a photograph of a man who is wanted for recall to prison. Officers are looking for 68-year-old Simon Berkowitz, who is wanted for recall to prison after breaching his prison licence conditions. - Credit: Archant

A nationwide manhunt for a fugitive burglar ended when a resident’s tip-off led to his arrest on Sidmouth seafront.

Serial offender Simon Berkowitz, 68, was on the run after breaching his prison licence conditions, prompting police to launch a wide-scale search.

He was known to frequent towns around East Devon.

Members of the public were warned not to approach Berkowitz, but following an appeal in the Herald, Sidmouth police received a call from a resident who had spotted him eating a meal in the town.

Sergeant Andy Squires, along with PCSO Chris Bolsover and PC Mike Kay, apprehended him on Sidmouth seafront on Sunday afternoon.

Sgt Squires said Berkowitz was arrested by PC Kay and taken to Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter.

He will now serve the remainder of his existing sentence.

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Sgt Squires has issued a thank you to the person who called and gave information that led to Berkowitz’s arrest.

“We had quite a few members of the public who rang in and gave information, and that helped us to close the net a little bit,” said Sgt Squires.

The police are now appealing for any information on Berkowitz’s recent whereabouts.

Sgt Squires is asking all Sidmouth residents to check their summer houses, sheds and garages, as well as any empty buildings for signs that Berkowitz might have been staying there.

He said: “He has been sleeping somewhere. We are very keen to find out where that is.”

Sgt Squires is also asking dog walkers to keep an eye out for a tent anywhere around Sidmouth.

Police recently found evidence Berkowitz had been camping at the top of Cotmaton Road.

Police are particularly focusing their search on the Alma Bridge area of town, but say it is also possible he has been staying in a guest house or bed and breakfast.

? Call the police on 101 with any information and ask for the Sidmouth neighbourhood team.

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