Blyth burglar caught by off-duty police officer

A prolific burglar has been jailed after he was thwarted by an off-duty officer.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:32 am
Jeffery Stoker (inset) was jailed after being caught trying to break into a Blyth property.

Jeffery Stoker, from Blyth, was caught by police trying to burgle a property on Blyth’s Princess Louise Road.

The 33-year-old had been trying to gain access to the house on June 21 last year when he was spotted by a Northumbria Police PC as she drove past and spotted a suspicious-looking male trying the door handle.

After turning around to check out the incident, she made her way to the front door.

And on closer inspection, the officer recognised the male as frequent offender Jeffery Stoker.

Spooked by her presence, Stoker told her he knew the owner before walking off.

But when the owner returned and was asked if he did in fact know Stoker, he confirmed he had never seen him before.

Stoker, of Seventh Avenue, Blyth, has previously been convicted of six residential burglaries and was previously jailed in 2018.

Stoker was arrested on June 28 on suspicion of attempted burglary and last week appeared before a judge at Newcastle Crown Court where he was sentenced to 10 months behind bars.

Blyth Neighbourhood Inspector Jonathan Caisley has praised the PC for her dedication and quick thinking.

He said: “Stoker is a prolific burglar who certainly got more than he bargained for that day.

“I want to praise the PC, who, despite being off duty, followed her gut when she saw something that didn’t look or feel right.

“Thanks to her Stoker was stopped in his tracks and the home owner was saved the devastation of having their home ransacked by a stranger.

“As a known offender, our PC was able to quickly identify Stoker and from there my team were able to launch an investigation and confirm he had been at the property, leading to a quick arrest and taking a prolific burglar off the streets.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their community is asked to report it to police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling 101.

In an emergency or if a crime is happening, always ring 999.