THREE people have been arrested after police left bikes fitted with tracker devices in crime hot spots.

After a rise in bike thefts in the west of Sunderland, police launched the sting operation targeting high crime locations.

The stolen cycles were then traced by officers who arrested a 27-year-old man and 16-year-old boy for theft and a 27-year-old man for being in possession of a stolen bike.

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One of the adults arrested under Operation Crystal was given a 12-month conditional discharge while the other was fined. The teenager is awaiting sentence.

Sergeant Ashley Hopper, of Northumbria Police, said: "We have responded to an increase in the number of bikes being stolen in order to catch those responsible.

"Using a tracker device has meant we can identify the location of bikes that have been stolen.

"It may be the bike has been quickly sold on by the thieves, however, by identifying who is in possession of it, can help in our enquiries to trace those responsible for these thefts.

"This sort of activity will continue, as we continue to tackle the number of bikes being stolen.