Two burglars responsible for hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of break-ins have been jailed.
Paul Tullin, 33, of West Allotment, and Martin James Flemming, 28, of Slatyford, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday, having been charged in connection with seven burglaries across Newcastle and Gateshead in 2015.
In February, 2015, Flemming and Tullin were responsible for stealing a Mercedes car, worth £38,000 during a burglary in West Denton. The vehicle was eventually recovered in the Cleveland area on false registration plates.
In March, they burgled the home of a couple in their 80s in Winlaton, a house in Lemington and a property in Ryton. Just three months later, in June, the pair then broke into and ransacked a house in Benton stealing around £52,000 worth of property including a diamond bracelet worth £25,000, a Breitling watch worth £6,000 and a £5,000 Rolex watch and a car.
And in July they burgled two properties in Ryton and Winlaton. During the Winlaton break-in, they stole around £140,000 worth of jewellery and treasured family possessions.
Following an investigation by Newcastle and Gateshead burglary team, Flemming was eventually arrested on August 4, before Tullin was arrested on October 1. The pair were then charged with conspiracy to burgle and remanded in custody.
Now they have finally been jailed by a judge for more than seven years each. Flemming received a sentence of seven years and 10 months while Tullin received a sentence of seven years and four mornths.
Newcastle and Gateshead Superintendent Paul Knox said: "Flemming and Tullin are professional burglars who have been a plague on Tyneside for a number of years. They have ruined countless lives and wrecked peoples' homes with their criminal actions and the pair of them are easily responsible for committing over half-a-million pounds worth of burglaries across Newcastle and Gateshead.
"They stole money, cars, high value jewellery, watches and anything expensive they could get their hands on and were very professional in their approach to committing burglaries.
"They would, on occasions, remove and force open safes and disable complicated alarm systems. Although their motive was to ransack the properties and leave them in a mess they planned and executed their crimes well and left no forensic evidence at any of the crime scenes.
"Their eventual downfall was the hard work, determination and perseverance of our excellent burglary team here in Newcastle and Gateshead. Detectives worked tirelessly on the burglaries and eventually identified a pattern that linked the break-ins to Flemming and Tullin.
"They used traditional police work along with other sophisticared techniques to track the pair and eventually we were able to arrest and charge them in connection with the series.
"Thanks to their fantastic work two very prolific and dangerous burglars are now off our streets and behind bars. I want to give a specific mention to the work of two of our detectives - Andy Smith and Bobby Wilson - who refused to rest until Flemming and Tullin saw justice for their crimes.
"Getting burglars, like these two, off our streets is a priority for us. The bespoke burglary team we have here in Newcastle and Gateshead specifically focus on identifying, targeting and stopping burglars. We will do all we can to prevent burglaries from happening, to support the victims of burglary and make the area as safe as possible for our local communities."