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This One-Man Crimewave in Sunderland Is a Lesson in Getting Shit Done

In two hours, one man managed to steal a car, break into two houses, stick up a Post Office and two shops, and then burn the car. What have you done this morning?

This article originally appeared on VICE UK

As well as being home to Jermain Defoe, Sunderland also seems to be the current romping ground of the most time-poor criminal on earth.

Here's a timeline that the cops have managed to piece together from various CCTV recordings and witness reports made on Monday:

2:35PM: A man tries to break into a house on Kitchener Street but just damages the door and runs away;
3:45-4PM: Someone breaks into a house on General Graham Street and steals a suitcase, some Lladro porcelain figures, and the keys to a Hyundai Getz, the most diverse criminal shopping basket perhaps of all time;
4:05PM: Attempted robbery of a Hylton Post Office and Costcutters on nearby Railway Terrace, where a man approaches the counter with a kitchen knife but leaves empty handed, peeling away in a tiny blue Hyundai Getz-shaped car;
4:15PM: Attempted robbery of William Hill on Hylton Road, same kitchen-knife-'n'-Hyundai MO;
4:30PM: Police find a blue Hyundai Getz, on fire, on the side of Ettrick Grove


Right: when was the last time you got that much shit done in a single day, let alone a two-hour window? In half an hour it seems someone stole a Hyundai Getz, tried to rob two different places with it, then burned it to the ground. In half an hour! I can barely get out of bed in that time! It takes me two hours to write 800 stupid words, sometimes! On lazy Sunday afternoons, it takes me four hours to get dressed after a shower! Imagine how much shit this alleged master criminal could have got done in that time!

"We want to speak to this man as we believe he can help us with our enquiries into this series of incidents that happened in the Sunderland area on Monday afternoon," Detective Inspector Paul Stewart said, obviously. "We have officers out in Sunderland making enquiries and if anyone knows who, or where he is, then I'd ask they contact us with any information as soon as possible."

I also want to speak with this man, as I feel we could all learn a thing or two about Getting Shit Done from him. Here, for example, is a quick breakdown of my day:

10:00-10:30AM: Rock up to work;
10:30-11:00AM: Delete a load of PR emails;
11:00-1:00PM: Maybe write something about a trending news story, like a woman who downed an entire bottle of cognac by herself because she wasn't allowed to take it on a plane;
1:00-2:00PM: Lunch (Tesco Meal Deal), eaten at a leisurely pace;
2:00-6:30PM: Check Twitter for about four hours, occasionally disturbing my own flow to go and have a piss;
6:30PM: Go home

In that time the Sunderland Mega Criminal currently haunting the dreams of Northumbria Police could probably rip off 20 or 30 grandmas, steal six or seven cars, and do severe damage to the balance sheets of maybe—I dunno, four?—Post Offices. City traders and aspirational HR managers pay hundreds of thousands a year to slick-haired professionals and goofy sub-hypnotists who tell them how best to make the most of their time. Could that money not be better spent on getting a gruff northern dude in a shellsuit to come down on the train—or, better yet, rock up outside HQ in a burnt-out Hyundai Getz—and threaten them all with a kitchen knife until they do their to-do lists? I would argue that: yes, it would. Teach me your ways, Sunderland's Version Of The Joker. Teach me how to rob two houses and two shops and still be home in time for Hollyoaks. Teach me how to be better at being me.

Anyway, if you have any information for the police on a person who does seem like they are in all seriousness a dangerous criminal, you can contact them on 101 (ext. 69191) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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