Sheffield city centre shoplifters sentenced after post-lockdown policing operation

Three Sheffield shoplifters have been sentenced after being caught stealing from city centre stores.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 5:23 pm

Yesterday (June 24), Michael Brearley, 33, of Barnes Court, was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison after admitting four thefts from Boots in the city centre on June 1.

On Monday (June 22), one of the area’s most prolific offenders, Rhys Thirlwell, 28, of no fixed abode, was jailed for six months after admitting six thefts from shops across the city centre between May 26 and June 21.

And on June 16, Josh Bailey, 27, of Burgoyne Road, received a 24-week sentence for carrying out five thefts at Boots and Marks & Spencer on Ecclesall Road earlier this month.

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The arrests were made as part of a post-lockdown policing operation.

The sentencings come after police deployed uniformed and plain-clothed officers to key areas in anticipation of a rise in retail crime as the two-month-long coronavirus lockdown was lifted.

Inspector John Mallows, who leads the city centre team, said: “It’s an unusual time for the retail sector as they begin to emerge from the pandemic.

“We anticipated that we might see a rise in shoplifting, so have put plans in place to deal with that.

“Our patrols and stop searches have yielded some great results, which I hope is reassuring for shops and businesses.”

“I hope city centre businesses are reassured by this activity. We are working hard to ensure it’s a safe place to work and live.

“Tackling retail crime is important to us and it’s important to local businesses. In all of these cases, these offenders have caused distress and upset to staff which can have a lasting impact.”

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