Family goes on Sidmouth shoplifting spree with young child

Sergeant Andy Squires. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW

Sergeant Andy Squires. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW - Credit: Archant

A family with a young child embarked on a shoplifting spree, hitting six Sidmouth shops in an hour-and-a-half before being ‘flushed out’ by police.

At the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting, Sergeant Andy Squires gave his monthly crime report, revealing the number of shoplifting incidents in the town had more than doubled, with 11 being recorded last month compared to five in May 2016.

Sgt Squires said: “One family, in one day, in the middle of May committed six crimes in the space of about an hour-and-a-half.

“We were on to them, we found them and we recovered all the property; within an hour-and-a-half they were flushed out.”

Sgt Andy Squires also revealed that a new ‘major development’ meant, for the first time in years, police were confident they were a step ahead of a gang of thieves targeting vehicles parked in Sidmouth car parks.

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He said the number of vehicle offences had risen in the town from one in May 2016 to seven in May 2017, which was down to an ongoing increase with car park thefts.

But he added: “We are making significant progress and one major development earlier today (Monday, June 5) means that, for the first time in many years, we are confident that we are one step ahead of this gang committing these offences.”

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Overall, 57 crimes were reported in May compared to 44 in the same month last year. There were 128 incidents, down from 164 in May 2016.

Last year there were three ‘other thefts’ in May, compared to nine last month, which included an electric energiser for an electric fence being stolen; an incident where two people walked into a hotel and ordered a round of drinks before putting it on a room that was not theirs; and a credit card that was found on a bench and subsequently used.

There were seven crimes involving violence with no injuries – up from three in 2016 – three violent crimes with injuries and no robberies or burglaries.

There were also seven criminal damage incidents, eight public order crimes and four ‘other offences’ – all to do with fake £20 notes.

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