Police have made five more arrests following an investigation into a series of high-value burglaries across the North East.

The arrests by officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU), follow on from burglary charges against four people last week.

The charges last week came after a complex NEROCU operation, supported by Northumbria Police, Staffordshire Police, West Midlands Police and Opal - which is the national intelligence unit focused on serious organised acquisitive crime.

The operation was launched following a series of high-value burglaries to homes in Newcastle, Sunderland, and Northumberland between January and April.

This included burglaries to homes in Darras Hall, Jesmond and Sunderland, in which cash, a car, designer wear and jewellery were among the items stolen.

Three men, 31, 27 and 33, and one woman, 42, were arrested on April 12 and have subsequently been charged with burglary dwelling offences and appeared at Northumberland Magistrates on April 15.

However, the work didn’t end there and yesterday (Thursday, April 18) officers from NEROCU arrested two men, 57 and 40, and three women, 63, 32 and 28, for handling stolen goods. They have since been released on police bail while enquiries continue.

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The NEROCU lead, Detective Inspector Shaun Fordy, said: “This demonstrates our dedication to robustly pursue all criminals who are suspected of being involved in this criminality, and we will continue to do so.

“We remain committed to protecting our communities and our work under Operation Sentinel will continue to utilise partnership working just like this to tackle all forms of Serious and Organised Crime.”

If you have any information about burglaries in your area, then please contact your local police force. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.