'Greedy' burglars who targeted Northumberland homes in their high-value raids are jailed

Men who set their sights on Northumberland homes as they travelled the country to steal more than £100,000 in cash and high-value goods are now behind bars.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 14th February 2020, 12:04 pm
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 12:05 pm

Thomas and Douglas Ward committed a string of burglaries in the summer of 2018, with 14 carried out across Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Cumbria in just nine days that July.

On Saturday, July 28, an alarm was set off on a property on the Great North Road in Clifton, Morpeth, with a bag taken and later recovered in Hepscott.

That evening, a witness disturbed three men trying to break into a house in that village, 1.5 miles away from Clifton.

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Douglas Ward and Thomas Ward are now beginning jail terms for the burglaries they committed during the summer of 2018.

During their campaign of theft, cash, jewellery, family gold and a new Mercedes 4x4 were taken, with police estimating the stolen goods totalled more than £100,000.

Northumbria Police’s team of burglar hunters suspected the break-ins had been committed by the same gang and found the thieves had bought vehicles and abandoned them after committing offences.

Inquiries identified vehicles involved, allowing police to trace the mobiles used and identify them through CCTV.

That led officers to a traveller site in Gosforth where they found a number of the vehicles believed to have been used in the raids.

One of the vehicles seized by Northumbria Police as part of the inquiry.

Thomas Ward, 20, of Willenhall Lane Caravan Park, Walsall, and Douglas Ward, 21, of Kendal Road, Worsley, Manchester, who told police they were not related, were later charged and admitted conspiracy to commit burglary at Newcastle Crown Court.

Now Douglas Ward has been jailed for six years and one month while Thomas Ward has been jailed for five years and seven months.

Detective Sergeant Dave Lumsden said: “They have changed vehicles multiple times and always kept moving in a bid to avoid being detected.

“However, we have caught up with them and now they have to face the consequences of their actions.

The aftermath of the break-in in Hepscott.

“These men had no thought about the impact their offending would have on the victims and were motivated by nothing but greed.

“This case should come as a strong warning to burglars across the country – if you commit offences in Northumbria then you should expect to be put behind bars.”

The Mercedes which was stolen in one of the raids and later recovered by police.