Eight Officers Commended for Their Roles in Tackling Burglars Armed with Firearms
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Chief Constable Richard Lewis has awarded eight officers with commendation awards for their hard work and dedication in convicting two criminals who targeted high powered vehicles in Teesside.
The incidents occurred overnight in December 2019 when the Force received a series of reports of burglaries and attempted burglaries where a number of balaclava-clad males were sighted in a vehicle with bats, targeting addresses in order to steal valuable cars.
Within the space of one hour, the offenders had targeted properties in Ingleby Barwick, Middlesbrough and Eaglescliffe whilst armed with weapons. They smashed front doors and patio doors to gain access to properties. A Golf GTI vehicle was stolen, as well as Christmas presents and a handbag containing bank cards.
These incidents happened whilst many of the victims were inside their homes and were terrified.
Intelligence staff quickly reviewed the incidents and officers were deployed to Marton in Middlesbrough to look for potential suspects and the stolen vehicles.
Kai Downie, 25, was the first male to be located and immediately became violent towards one officer by punching him several times in the face. He was detained and taken to custody.
Officers discovered Downie was in the possession of a hotel room key and officers were deployed to the hotel, where Reymell Headlam, 22, was arrested and was found in possession of drugs. A vehicle outside the hotel was also searched, resulting in the seizure of a pistol, ammunition and several weapons.
Both males were known to the Metropolitan Police and they had reportedly gained links to Teesside due to drugs activity.
The males were charged with firearms and burglary offences and were given a combined sentence of 13 years imprisonment following a trial at Teesside Crown Court.
Chief Constable Richard Lewis stated: “If it had not been for the diligent actions of the arresting officers and the determination throughout the investigation, then the two men would have gone on to engage in further criminality, which could have had further consequences for the people living in our local communities.
“Both men were dangerous individuals who had travelled to Teesside armed with a live firearm and machetes in a bid to prey on victims in our area.
“The speedy work of our officers has resulted in a positive outcome and I am proud of each individual who worked hard on this investigation to bring the offenders to justice, protect the public and prevent further victims from being targeted.”