VIDEO: Man steals sheep from countryside before releasing it in Sheffield suburbs
A man who stole a sheep from the countryside before releasing the poor animal in a Sheffield suburb has been sentenced.
Ali El-Aridi failed to pull the wool over the eyes of police, which is hardly surprising given he posted photos and videos of his crime on Snapchat.
The 23-year-old, of Stubbin Lane, in Firth Park, shared footage of himself saying ‘I’m hungry, wallah, I’m catching a sheep’, before chasing the creature along the banks of Ladybower Reservoir and catching it.
He then directed an expletive-filled rant at the bemused creature before driving it to his home city and releasing it onto a suburban street, again filming himself in the act saying ‘we kidnapped a sheep, ahahahahahahahaha’.
Thankfully the animal was rescued from the Wincobank area of Sheffield and reunited with its owner within a day, and El-Aridi was quickly identified.
Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team investigated after members of the public witnessed the theft on August 20 last year and shared their concerns on Facebook.
When officers examined El-Aridi’s phone, they found the evidence he had filmed, along with two extreme pornographic images.
He was charged with theft of the sheep – which he admitted – and possession of extreme pornography, which he denied but was found guilty of at Chesterfield Justice Centre.
He was sentenced yesterday to a 12-month community order, and was told to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £620 in costs.
PC Andy Shaw, from the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team, said: “El-Aridi initially denied stealing the sheep but, after we had a look at his phone and found the videos, unsurprisingly the next time we interviewed him his story was somewhat different.
“The sheer disregard for the animal’s welfare is plainly evident in El-Aridi’s video, and in fact he seemed to care significantly more about the mess it had made to his boot lining.
“This case was a great example of the police and the community coming together not only to recover the animal but also to secure a conviction.
“It also shows that social media has real value in modern policing, and I hope it foes on to demonstrate to our rural communities that we are alert to crime and will take action to tackle it and put offenders before the courts.”
PC Shaw said the crime was one of many similar reports of theft police receive all year round – offences that can devastate members of the rural community.
“Livestock theft is an ongoing problem nationally and one that we take seriously. Single animals disappear in cases such as this but we also receive reports of animals being taken on a much larger scale,” he added.
"If you have any information relating to livestock thefts please let us know. As this case hopefully proves, we will investigate it fully and if we can we will bring those responsible to justice.”
To report crime to the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team, call 101 or search for them on Facebook.