ONE of the North East’s most elusive fugitives has been found after trying to evade police officers by hiding in a loft.

The 21-year-old man from Bedlington had evaded arrest since February, despite knowing he was wanted in connection with a string of offences including burglary and theft.

Believed to have been living a transient lifestyle, the suspect had been laying low from police.

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But his luck finally ran out in the early hours of yesterday (May 18) after Northumbria Police’s Dog Section and Area Command officers honed in on an address in the Bishops Meadow area of Bedlington.

After circling the address, and receiving intelligence that their target was staying there, officers searched inside the premises and located a man hiding in the loft.

He was arrested and remains in police custody, where he will be interviewed in connection with a range of offences.

Following the arrest, chief inspector, Mick Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “As a team, we are pleased to play a key role in the search for wanted people across Northumbria and this was a case of experienced officers trusting their instincts.

The Northern Echo: After evading officers since February, the criminal was finally arrested in a loft space. Picture: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE.After evading officers since February, the criminal was finally arrested in a loft space. Picture: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE.

“Upon first viewing, the address seemed empty with no sight of our target. But they sensed something was not quite right, and soon enough they gave the man an almighty shock when they found him hiding out in the loft.

“He will now be interviewed in connection with the offences, and I hope this activity sends out a strong message to anybody who attempts to evade arrest.

“The net will tighten around you – and it is only a matter of time before you are located, arrested and brought into custody.”

Ch Insp Hall added: “I would like to reiterate that it is a criminal offence to harbour a wanted fugitive, and anybody found to have done faces a possible jail term themselves.

“We would encourage anybody who knows they are wanted to do the right thing and hand themselves in.”

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