POLICE have praised the actions of a new Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator whose sharp eyes helped catch a suspected bogus caller.

Chester-le-Street Community Inspector Paul Anderson said there had been five bogus calls in the district on the same day.

A man, who claimed his wife was pregnant and was about to give birth, had been asking occupants to let him in to make a phone call to contact the hospital.

Inspector Anderson said: "He stole a handbag containing £210 in a house in Sacriston.

"A short while later, a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator was travelling behind a car on the Craghead road, near Pelton Fell, when he noticed a handbag being thrown out of its window.

"He took the registration number down and contacted us immediately. As a result, the man was arrested."

Insp Anderson praised the co-ordinator, who did not want to be named, and said it demonstrated the importance of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme and the importance of remaining vigilant at all times.