DETECTIVES have seized a stolen bike after tracking a suspected thief to County Durham.

At the end of last month the Operation Benelli team received a report that a Suzuki 125cc motorbike had been stolen from an address on Silver Fox Way in North Shields.

Officers were told how a thief had approached the parked up bike, cut a chain that was securing it at the address and then made off with the vehicle on October 29.

An investigation was launched to identify the person responsible and locate the stolen vehicle but a breakthrough came on Tuesday after a break-in at a commercial building.

Police in Peterlee had received a report that an intruder had smashed through a brick wall to gain access to a number of vehicles being stored inside.

A suspect was traced to a nearby address in the town where a 38-year-old man was placed under arrest.

The bike stolen in North Shields was also found inside.

It later emerged the man arrested was also wanted for a string of offences in the Northumbria force area dating back to December 2018.

He has since been bailed but was put under strict conditions that means he is unable to travel in to our region.

Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, who leads Northumbria's Operation Benelli team, praised the partnership work between Northumbria and Durham.

He said: "This suspect had been wanted by police since 2018 and thanks to some excellent teamwork with our colleagues in Durham he was brought in to custody.

"When the incident in Peterlee was reported, it was quickly linked to the incidents in our Force area and we worked well with cross-border partners to get a positive result.

"We have done some fantastic work in the Operation Benelli team to raise awareness of motorcycle thefts and the work we are doing to identify offenders.

"That is clearly paying off and once again we have been able to return a stolen motorcycle to its owner, less than two weeks after it was taken.

"We still need the support of the public though and if you see any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood then please pick up the phone and contact police."

Operation Benelli is made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers based at Etal Lane Police Station.

They review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in the commission of a crime and try to establish any patterns of behaviour.

Victims are also spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.

If you want to send pictures, video or intelligence to the task-force then you can do so by emailing