Shoplifting crackdown sees 70 people arrested

South Yorkshire Police retail crime operation in Sheffield
South Yorkshire Police retail crime operation in Sheffield
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POLICE made 70 arrests during a crackdown on shoplifting in South Yorkshire.

Officers took to the streets during a day of action targeting retail crime, patrolling shopping centres, searching homes and detaining suspected shoplifters.

Police teams were also out on the roads, focusing on vehicles known to be linked to retail crime, while sessions were held for shopkeepers to help them ward off thieves.

In Sheffield, 15 arrests were made, while two suspects handed themselves in. Two cautions were also given for theft.

More than £100 of stolen property was recovered and six fixed penalty notices were handed out.

Officers made nine arrests in Rotherham, and a number of known shoplifters were challenged in stores to make sure they paid before leaving, and in Barnsley 10 suspects were arrested. Doncaster saw 20 arrests.

Supporting teams, such as roads policing officers, contributed more arrests which added to the overall total of 70.

Chf Insp Gwyn Thomas, from South Yorkshire Police, who led the operation, said: “The force takes retail crime very seriously - it affects large and small businesses alike and can threaten the very existence of independent retailers.

“It affects us all by pushing up the prices of everyday goods.”

Shoplifting increased by 17 per cent in South Yorkshire from April to July, with 470 extra offences recorded compared with the same period last year.

Chf Insp Thomas said 29 people recognised suspects from a ‘rogues gallery’ of 40 CCTV pictures released by police last week and printed on the front page of The Star.

“I want to thank the public for supporting our operation,” he added.