A thief who stole ten bottles of alcohol from a city centre bar was arrested, charged and jailed – all within 48 hours.

John Weatherald forced his way into Bobby’s Bar on Low Row, Sunderland, last Monday evening (April 8) and helped himself to the haul.

The 54-year-old was spotted on CCTV wandering behind the bar and stealing bottles of Tequila Rose, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan before making off.

Unfortunately for Weatherald, he was immediately identified on the footage by officers from the Sunderland Altogether Improving Lives (SAIL) partnership.

The collaborative project sees police work together with the council, businesses and other partners to combat crime in the city centre and bring justice against perpetrators.

Weatherald, of St Barnabas Way, Sunderland, was soon arrested and charged with burglary on April 9.

He appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside the following day where he admitted the offence and was jailed for 22 weeks.The Northern Echo:

Northumbria Police Sergeant Dave Catton, who spearheads the SAIL project in Sunderland, said: “This was a case of fantastic teamwork between teams of officers, especially the Millfield Neighbourhood Team, as well as our criminal justice partners to reach a swift and successful outcome.

“Weatherald showed a total disregard for the law and others as he broke into the bar and swiped various bottles of alcohol – in the hope that he would not be caught.

“But this conviction shows the real and tangible impact that the SAIL project is making in our city centre, and that would not be possible without the ongoing support of our partners and the public.

“We all want to live, work and visit a city centre that is hassle-free and safe for all. Burglary is such an intrusive crime and we make no apology for taking strong and robust action against offenders.”

The SAIL project launched in 2022 and brings together the expertise of various partner agencies under one roof.

The initiative sees officers work collaboratively with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) – alongside other support services.

Marion Dixon, Assistant Director of Regulatory Services at Sunderland City Council, said: “The SAIL project has had a significant impact in making the city centre a safer and more attractive place to be since it was set up in December 2022, and this latest conviction is an excellent example of what can be achieved by working in partnership.”

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Sunderland BID chief executive Sharon Appleby said: “This is an excellent result which illustrates the benefits of partnership working in addressing crime and anti-social behaviour.

“We are very proud that Sunderland is leading the way with this and that other cities are looking to replicate the SAIL scheme is a true indicator of its success.”

Anybody who sees anything suspicious in their area is asked to report it by using the ‘Report’ page of the Northumbria Police website or by calling 101. In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always dial 999.