POLICE have shipped a stolen bike to the Netherlands after it was stolen from a Dutch tourist on holiday in the region.

The bike was found in a police raid in County Durham after it was stolen from the Royal Quays retail park, where the 54-year-old tourist had been shopping.

He was reunited with the BMW 1100 bike after it was seized during a raid at a house in Friar's Row, Burnopfield, along with cash and drugs.

A second warrant was carried out in the west end of Newcastle and a 28-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were arrested and released on police bail.

Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, from the Operation Benelli team, said: “This is another positive result for the team and shows our commitment to returning stolen property to its rightful owner."

“We recover the majority of motorcycles that are stolen from our Force area but we are working hard to prevent incidents taking place in the first instance.

“Officers are carrying out undercover operations, we are targeting known offenders and we are working closely with motorcycle shops and garages.

“These offenders are brazen and the BMW motorcycle we recovered was taken from a car park at a busy retail park in the middle of the day.

“Thankfully we have been able to locate it and return it to the Netherlands which he was obviously very grateful for.

“An investigation into the theft of the motorcycle will continue and I want to warn offenders that we will always catch up with you in the end.”

An investigation into the theft of the motorcycles is ongoing but police are asking for help from the public to continue the crackdown on motorcycle thieves.

Det Insp Fowler added: “We rely heavily on information from the public as they are the eyes and ears in our local communities.

“We need you to be aware of this type of offending and if you see anything that doesn’t seem right to you then we would ask that you report it.

“If you see two or three people riding a motorcycle, maybe without a helmet, and it doesn’t seem right, then give us a call.

“Your help could prevent crimes from taking place or it could lead us to recovering stolen property and putting suspects before the court.”

The Operation Benelli team are made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers based at Etal Lane Police Station.

They review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in the commission of a crime and try to establish any patterns of behaviour.

Victims are also spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.

The team will then look to secure warrants on addresses and that has already resulted in a number of significant arrests and convictions.

Drugs, weapons, money and stolen property have all been seized by the task-force due to their enquiries into anti-social behaviour.

If you want to send pictures, video or intelligence to the task-force then you can do so by emailing operationbenelli@northumbria.pnn.police.uk.

You can also call 101 and asking to speak to the Operation Benelli team or report information online at the Northumbria Police website.