Serial thief jailed after suspicions from second-hand shopkeeper

northumbria police
Chris Cook has been jailed for 40 months. Credit: Northumbria Police

A serial thief has been jailed after he was caught trying to sell his stolen goods to a second-hand shop.

Chris Cook, of Armstrong Road in Newcastle, targeted a number of businesses in the Collingwood Buildings in Newcastle on 18 January.

At the time, he was already on bail after being arrested in connection with the burglaries of two city centre flats last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the repeat offender was captured on CCTV damaging a number of the units inside the property in the early hours of the morning, before stealing two Cannon cameras worth around £2000 each, 15 phones, four laptops and two speakers.

The burglaries were reported to police later that morning when the building’s caretaker turned up to work and realised what had happened.

Northumbria Police's Central Burglary Team were contacted by a second-hand shop, concerned about a number of items a man had just dropped off.

When reviewing the shop's CCTV, detectives recognised Cook. As well as this, his name had been provided and then later crossed out on the documents required by the shop to complete the sale.

Officers recovered one of the cameras when they arrested Cook at his home hours later. A number of the mobile phones and laptops were also recovered and returned to their owners.

Cook was charged with burgling a commercial premises, and two counts of burglary in relation to the city centre flats in October 2021.

He was jailed for 40 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Craig Austin said: "This case shows how quickly we can move and trace suspects with the help and vigilance of our communities.

"Thanks to a shopkeeper trusting their gut and recognising that something didn’t feel right, our officers received some information and CCTV which they were able to review and immediately recognise Cook in action.

"Cook is a shameless and repeat offender, who was on bail and being investigated for other offences at the time he broke into the Collingwood Buildings and targeted a series of small businesses.

"He has not yet learned his lesson and I am pleased with the sentence handed down, as some time behind bars will no doubt help him understand the severity of his offending.

"We would urge anyone who notices suspicious activity to get in touch with us and to report it. And if you suspect you’ve been burgled, please don’t hesitate to call us so we can take swift action."