A SUSPECTED thief has been arrested after officers responded to a burglary at an opticians in less than four minutes – and found the suspect still inside.

The 47-year-old man is now set to appear in court after being charged in relation to the break-in at The Big Optician in Byker, Newcastle. 

At 4.28am on Easter Sunday police received an automatic notification after the alarm was activated at the premises on Stephen Street.

Officers were on scene by 4.32am and found the shutters forced open and a front window smashed.

They immediately surrounded all exits of the opticians before entering the store – and found a man stood inside.

The male was in possession of a haul of suspected stolen goods and arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Today (Tuesday) Chief Inspector Gary Richardson, of Northumbria Police, praised the quick response of officers.

“This was a swift and efficient response that has allowed us to make an immediate arrest and recover stolen property,” said Ch Insp Richardson.

“It was a very professional job by officers to contain the property and then work their way through the premises to prevent an escape.

“A man has now been charged and will appear in court next month where he will face a burglary charge and possible prison sentence.

“I want to praise all the officers involved in this excellent piece of work and hope it reassures our community that we are committed to tackling this type of criminality.”

The 47-year-old man was charged with burglary and released on bail to appear before North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on May 4.