A burglar who targeted a newly-opened restaurant and helped himself to stock and equipment worth £1,000 has been jailed.

Back in April, the owners of Punto Italian Kitchen in Heaton, said they were left ‘devastated’ by the burglary which saw thief Andrew Charleston force entry and help himself to goods.

Security footage shows the 25-year-old rummaging around inside the restaurant, before damaging the security shutter and rear door, and fleeing the scene.

The Northern Echo: Andrew CharlstonAndrew Charlston

Read more: Arrest after Newcastle's Punto Italian Kitchen is burgled

When the matter was reported to police on the morning of April 1, it took officers less than 12 hours to locate, arrest and charge Charleston.

Earlier this month, prolific Charleston of Shields Road, Byker was jailed for four months at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court after previously pleading guilty to burglary.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Dave Lumsden from the Force’s Central Burglary Team said: “This is great result which goes to show that the criminal justice system will not tolerate offenses of this nature.

“Burglaries can have a significant impact on victims and in this case, it had a profound impact on the owners of a new business.

The Northern Echo: CCTV of Andrew Charleston caught in the act CCTV of Andrew Charleston caught in the act

The restaurant was trying to get off the ground and thanks to Charleston, they lost a substantial amount of stock and saw their premises damaged.

“We are thankful to Punto’s team for their cooperation with the investigation – their CCTV footage helped us to swiftly identify the person responsible and within 12 hours he was charged and ready for court.

Read more: County Durham man put ex-partner through prolonged violent incident

“I would like our communities to know that we are committed to doing all we can to tackle this type of criminality and will work hard to bring offenders to justice.”

The Northern Echo: Damiano Rea, Andrew Adams and Zeno Meynell-ReaDamiano Rea, Andrew Adams and Zeno Meynell-Rea

Thanking officers for their support brothers Damiano Rea and Zeno Meynell-Rea who own Punto, and their general manager, Andrew Adams said: “We would like to thank the officers from Northumbria Police whose fast response and quick action has helped arrest a man and bring him before the courts. We are happy to assist in any way we can.

“While this sort of crime has an impact on any business or family, it is especially devastating for such a young business having only been trading for five months."

The business has reached the number one spot on Trip Advisor for both Italian Restaurants and Pizza Restaurants in Newcastle upon Tyne, as ranked by travelers.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054