Meat thieves caught by supermarket staff

A quick-thinking member of staff at Sainsbury’s helped police catch meat thieves which left one criminal spending Christmas and New Year behind bars.

Officers also praised manager Warren knight for helping catch the crooks, who stole �100 of food and drink from the Ottery supermarket.

A group of men were spotted acting suspiciously at around 5.30pm on November 23 by an employee who had finished work and was doing some shopping.

She told the store’s manager who contacted police.

Officers quickly arrived and the thieves, who were all from Dorset, made off on foot with �90 worth of meat and a bottle of vodka.

Ottery PC Phil Thomas said two of the men were arrested around the side of the building in Hind Street, assisted by Mr Knight who the constable called ‘excellent’.

A third man escaped on foot but after a search with the police helicopter he was also arrested in the Land of Canaan.

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They were put before Exeter Magistrates Court in December, and one man, 20-year-old Ricky Thompson from Bridport, was given a four-week custodial sentence, meaning he was in prison for the festive season.

The second man received a community service order, and the third received no action due to insufficient evidence.

Sainsbury’s manager Mr Knight said: “Ottery St Mary is a peaceful place to live and things like this are very rare.

“Our colleagues worked closely with the local police to detain the shoplifters and we are glad that the police responded so swiftly.”