Gang of burglars tried to rob County Durham Poundland but got scared off by shop alarms

The four defendants tried to steal the store’s safe by ramraiding the building but were spooked by the alarms and abandoned their stolen vehicles at the scene. Credit: Durham Police/PA

A gang of burglars tried to rob a County Durham Poundland but were scared away by the shop alarms.

Barry Nicholson and Shaun Whittaker travelled to Scotland in October 2019 where they stole a Ford Transit van and drove it back to County Durham.

A few days later, Ryan Arthur Sutton and Paul Anthony Glynn stole a Manitou telehandler vehicle from an industrial estate in Coundon and that night, all four attempted to ramraid the Poundland store in Bishop Auckland.

The defendants tried to steal the store’s safe by ramraiding the building but were spooked by the alarms and abandoned the vehicles at the scene with the safe still attached to the telehandler.

Barry Nicholson (Top left), Paul Anthony Glynn (Top Right), Ryan Sutton (Bottom Left), Shaun Whittaker (Bottom Right). Credit: Durham Police

An investigation was launched and Glynn’s DNA was found on the ignition of the telehandler.

Further work revealed the quartet had been in regular contact with each other before and after the attempted burglary and all four were subsequently arrested and charged with conspiring to commit a burglary.

Glynn, 53, of Langley Park, and 36-year-old Whittaker and 29-year-old Sutton, of Bishop Auckland, pleaded guilty whilst Nicholson, of Bishop Auckland, was found guilty following a trial.

The four were sentenced at Durham Crown Court on Friday 23 June.

Nicholson, 40, received four-and-a-half years in prison.

Whittaker was handed a three-year prison sentence.

Sutton was sentenced to 27 months in prison and Glynn, 18 months which will be served consecutively following his conviction for firearms offences earlier this year which resulted in a 19-year prison sentence.

Detective Inspector Amanda Howe, said: “This was understandably a shocking incident for the residents of Bishop Auckland and it has been a lengthy investigation.

“I’d like to thank the staff whose diligent work and tenacious efforts brought about the charges to remove these criminals from our streets.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...