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  1. ITV Report

Double murder suspect James Allen arrested

James Allen. Photo: Police handout

A man being hunted by police after he was suspected of killing two people in their own homes was arrested today.

James Allen, 36, was arrested in south Leeds at 7.20am and is being held on suspicion of murder in connection with the deaths of Colin Dunford, in Middlesbrough, and Julie Davison, in Whitby.

Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police issued an urgent appeal to find Allen following the murders.

Earlier, detectives had released new CCTV images of double murder suspect James Allen while on the run in Scarborough.

ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reported on the hunt for James Allen.

Police said there was a sighting of Allen in the Harehills area of Leeds at 3am on Friday.

James Allen in the Harehills area of Leeds on Friday afternoon. Credit: Police handout

Speaking at a news conference in Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon, temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang said the images showed Allen appeared to be growing his hair to change his appearance.

James Allen at a Scarborough cash exchange on Wednesday. Credit: Police handout

Mr Lang said: "The photographs will show James Allen throughout the course of the week, caught on camera and show signs of hair growing through at both sides of his head.

"He was described as bald but there's now clear signs of hair growing."

CCTV footage of James Allen in a sports shop in Scarborough on Wednesday. Credit: Police handout

The images show Allen in a number of locations, including a sports shop, in Scarborough on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mr Lang confirmed Allen stayed in a bed and breakfast, thought to be the Allerton Croft Hotel, in the seaside town on Wednesday night.

He said the guest house had been treated as a crime scene.

Julie Davison and Colin Dunford. Credit: Press Association

Earlier this week, Mr Lang said Allen, originally from Blackpool, knew Mr Dunford when he lived next door to him about a year ago but it is not thought Allen knew Ms Davison.

He said robbery was a possible motive behind the attacks, but stressed he was keeping an open mind.

Double murder suspect James Allen. Credit: Police handout

The senior detective said the suspect could have tricked his way into Ms Davison's home.

Mr Lang said it was feasible that Allen had cycled between Middlesbrough and Whitby - a distance of more than 30 miles.

Clearly this is a man who is a dangerous man, but we are putting absolutely everything into finding him, tracking him down and bringing him to justice.

There's a massive police operation in place here. Over 100 detectives, two forces, not an inch between these two forces, absolutely working in partnership with one goal, and that is to find James Allen and arrest him.

– Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, head of crime operations for Cleveland Police.

Allen has previous convictions for violence and has served a custodial sentence.

Mr Lang confirmed that he had been jailed for eight years at Southampton Crown Court in 2003 for offences of burglary and wounding with intent.

The detective also said Allen was on court bail for an offence of violence.

He added that Allen had had contact with the probation services and was being investigated for other alleged offences, which he would not disclose.

Mr Lang warned residents to keep their homes secure and be careful when answering their doors.

He said: "Clearly this is a man who is a dangerous man, but we are putting absolutely everything into finding him, tracking him down and bringing him to justice.

"There's a massive police operation in place here. Over 100 detectives, two forces, not an inch between these two forces, absolutely working in partnership with one goal, and that is to find James Allen and arrest him."

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