A MAN has been jailed for 23 weeks following a burglary at the Co-op in Wylam last year.

Gary Hosie (36) was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month in relation to the incident on April 23.

A court heard how Hosie arrived at the scene with another intruder in a silver Volvo before smashing the window of the supermarket and trying to force entry to the cigarette cabinet.

A smoke alarm was activated and the intruders fled empty handed before police arrived on the scene.

The Volvo was found abandoned in the West Denton area of Newcastle three hours after the burglary had been committed.

Northumbria Police said PC Adam Fegan and his police dog Max searched the area near the car in a bid to locate a suspect or any vital evidence.

They were unable to find the burglars but Max continued to track the surrounding area and eventually found a discarded balaclava, clothing and gloves hidden in undergrowth nearby.

A court heard how the balaclava was sent off for forensic testing by Northumbria Police’s Scientific Support Unit and quickly came back as a match for Hosie.

The Volvo used in the burglary was later found abandoned nearby and fingerprints from the boot of the vehicle were a perfect match for Hosie.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with burglary.

Following the case, Northumbria Police released footage showing the moment five-year-old Dutch Herder Max located the crucial piece of evidence.

PC Fegan, of the Northumbria Police dog section, said: “Max has had a lot of very good jobs but this is right up there with one of the best.

“He has searched a huge area in the middle of the night but his nose has led him to a crucial piece of evidence in this case.

“Forensics from that balaclava have ultimately secured a conviction and now a prolific burglar is back behind bars.

“Gary Hosie is a career criminal and has spent months trying to avoid police before eventually being brought to justice.

“I hope this case reassures the public that we are more than capable of locating people like him and putting them before the courts.”

Hosie, of no fixed abode, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on February 11 and made to pay a victim surcharge of £115.