A SUSPECTED burglar was found hiding in an airing cupboard after police followed a CCTV trail and located a stolen car.

It was reported that an address on Westcliffe Road in Sunderland had been burgled overnight on Friday.

An offender had gained entry to the family home while the occupants were asleep and stole a number of items. They then swiped a set of car keys and made off in a car that was parked on the driveway.

An investigation was launched into the incident and within 90 minutes of the report being made officers had located the vehicle abandoned in the Dame Dorothy Street area of the city.

Over the weekend, officers continued to follow lines of enquiry in a bid to locate those responsible – and a CCTV trail soon provided a fresh lead.

That led officers to identify a man they believed to have been behind the burglary. In the early hours of Sunday police executed a warrant at an address in Houghton-le-Spring.

Initially, the man they wanted to speak to did not appear to be home – but suspecting something did not seem right, officers searched the airing cupboard and found a man hiding inside.

The 38-year-old man was subsequently arrested and taken into police custody. He has since been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Chief Inspector Paul Walters said: “This was an excellent piece of policing by all involved.

“After being alerted to the break-in on Friday morning, within an hour we had carried out enquiries at the scene and located the vehicle that had been stolen from the driveway.

“A lot of hard work then followed which involved officers spending hours following a CCTV trawl to identify a suspect who they believed may have been involved in the burglary.

“That work continued into the early hours of Sunday morning when we searched a home in the Houghton area, and those present showed their investigative nous to successfully bring a suspect into custody.

“This type of outcome does not just happen and requires a huge amount of work and dedication – so I would personally like to thank those involved.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ age of our website or by calling 101 quoting log 228 131120.