Neighbour's call leads to Sidmouth arrest

PUBLISHED: 19:01 25 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:27 17 June 2010

QUICK-thinking residents and dedicated police officers have been praised following the arrest of a suspected burglar in Sidmouth last week. A 62-year-old man from Sussex was arrested last Thursday (October 16) and was subsequently charged with going eq

QUICK-thinking residents and dedicated police officers have been praised following the arrest of a suspected burglar in Sidmouth last week.

A 62-year-old man from Sussex was arrested last Thursday (October 16) and was subsequently charged with going equipped to steal. He will appear before magistrates in Exeter on November 4 and was released on bail.

The hunt continues for a burglar in the Salcombe Hill area after a separate spate of thefts. Nobody has been charged and police are continuing with forensic enquiries.

In relation to last week's arrest, Sergeant Andy Turner said: "The local neighbourhood policing team have put in months of work to try and rid the town of burglars."

"PC Dave Wallace has given up nearly every Friday, Saturday and rest day over the last two to three months. It is a result of his efforts, enquiries and patrols that led to this male being arrested."

PCSOs Jay Pepper, Alexander Powe and Steven Blanchford-Cox and PC Steve Lemon were also praised.

PS Turner added: "When the call came in they acted and immediately carried out an area search."

PS Turner said the arrest of a suspect was thanks to excellent policing by all five officers and their diligence and willingness to come in on days off.

He added: "We are also grateful to the quick thinking of the person who rang in and the Herald for coverage that led to her phone call in the first place."

Julie Woodhouse, 57, of Hillside Road made the call to police after seeing a man in a neighbour's driveway when she knew they had gone away.

Mrs Woodhouse, who was about to leave for work, read a police appeal in The Herald last month and had stuck the contact number on her wardrobe.

She said: "I rang within seconds. All the residents around here have been very, very upset. There are a lot of people who live on their own, they all talk and are really worried about it and have been for months. Its not very nice to think people are walking the streets doing that. We are all very concerned."

PS Turner added: "We are keen to hear from anybody who may have seen anything suspicious and are keen to find any unoccupied premises in Salcombe Hill to check they are in order.

"We urge people to continue to remain vigilant as we know there is more than one team of burglars in the area."

Anybody with information can contact Sidmouth Police Station on 08452 777444.

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