At about 11.10am on Wednesday, November 13, police received a report two men had attempted to steal a silver Suzuki SV1000 motorbike from outside Delcor Furniture in Double Row in Seaton Deleval.
They were confronted by a staff member but brandished a knife and threatened to stab him.
The pair attempted to make off with the bike but abandoned it a short distance away after again being challenged by the man and the bike’s owner.
Northumbria Police’s Operation Benelli team officers launched an investigation and were able to identify three suspects who were arrested.
Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, who oversees the team, praised the bravery of the members of the public: “This would have been a terrifying incident for the two men who confronted the men who were trying to steal the bike.
“Their actions have allowed us to respond quickly to make these arrests while we were also able to seize a suspected stolen bike from a nearby address.
“I want to praise the men for the courage they have shown and I hope our quick response shows them how serious we take this offending.
“It is completely unacceptable to steal someone else’s property but it is also very concerning that these offenders were carrying a knife.
“We need the public to work with us and if they see people acting suspiciously in their community then please give us a call.
“It was a fantastic piece of work by both our Op Benelli team and response officers in the area and our CID detectives will now take on this investigation.”
The three men arrested – aged 21, 19, and 17 – remain in police custody at this time.
Operation Benelli is 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.