Fugitive snared after asking wrong Metro passengers for help

17 June 2019, 16:18 | Updated: 17 June 2019, 16:35

Jamie Lee, convicted burglar

A wanted burglar asked two commuters for their help evading police, but ended up back behind bars when they turned out to be undercover cops.

Jamie Lee, 29, received a 15-month sentence after he was convicted of burglary in October 2018.

He was recalled to prison for breaching his release conditions in May, but managed to evade officers. 

But Lee, from Marsden Road in South Shields was eventually caught on Saturday (June 15) after trying to avoid paying for his Metro fare.

As he got off the train in Newcastle city centre, Lee confessed to two passengers that he was wanted by police, so wanted to know if officers were at the top of the escalators checking tickets.

But little did he know, Lee’s newly-made acquaintances were actually plain-clothed officers, who promptly arrested him.

Sergeant Tim Hand, of Northumbria Police’s Metro Unit, said: “Jamie Lee was a wanted man who had tried to avoid detection for a number of weeks.

“But his deceit certainly caught up with him at the weekend when he illegally boarded a Metro train and tried to avoid paying the fare.

“In doing so, he didn’t realise that the passengers he had approached were actually police officers, who were more than happy to re-arrest him and put him back before the courts.

“We have a  team of plain-clothed and uniformed officers who carry out regular patrols at Metro stations across the network, as well as on-board trains to ensure the safety of passengers.

Lee has since returned to prison.

A spokesperson for the Tyne and Wear Metro said: “This is one passenger who certainly got more than he bargained for when he decided it was a good idea to dodge his fare.

“There are unformed and plain clothed police regularly patrolling on our network alongside record levels of front-line customer service staff.