POLICE who uncovered a £170,000 burglary conspiracy hope to trace the owners of a haul of suspected stolen goods seized during the investigation.

Last week, Steven Crombie, 40, was jailed for seven years and two months for a string of burglaries and car-related crimes across the region.

Thousands of valuable and sentimental items were stolen from properties across County Durham, Sunderland, and South Tyneside last year.

Both Crombie and 20-year-old associate Brandon Meah, who was jailed for three years and seven months, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

Crombie’s girlfriend Cheryl Robinson, 41, was sentenced to 22 months for handling stolen goods and his brother-in-law Keith Patterson, 49, got an 11-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, for acquiring and possessing criminal property.

Meah’s partner Laura Churchill, 20, received an 11-month jail-term, suspended for 12 months, after admitting assisting an offender.

Officers who worked on the case have released pictures of suspected stolen items– including jewellery, tools and a signed boxing glove– which were seized during the 14-month investigation.

The items were found in Crombie’s home address in Hampstead Square, Sunderland, as well as at a garage in Witherwack and a storage unit on Colima Avenue which had been opened by Robinson.

PC Graeme Rockett, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a large-scale investigation that saw Crombie steal a huge amount of items from a number of victims across the North-East.

“In total, taking into account the damage to property and items stolen, his criminality equated to a loss of more than £170,000 for his victims.

“Thankfully, we have seized a number of goods believed to have been stolen during his various burglaries and car-related thefts. Now we are eager to ensure they are returned to their rightful owners.

“Some of the items are fairly distinctive, and I’m sure others hold huge sentimental value to victims. So we are releasing pictures of the items today in the hope of making sure they are rightly returned.”

Northumbria police also issued a fresh appeal to find a decorative urn containing the ashes of a victim’s late father which was stolen from a house on Success Road, Houghton-le-Spring.

“The victim recently lost her mother too, so is desperate to reunite her mum and dad’s ashes,” PC Graeme Rockett said.

“If anyone knows where the urn is, please get in touch – or drop it off anonymously at Southwick Police Station.”

Images can be viewed on The Northern Echo website. Anyone who thinks they are the rightful owner, or has information about the urn, can email 8332@northumbria.pnn.police.uk or call 101. The urn can also be handed in anonymously at Southwick Police Station.