Ottery thieves cream off milk

PUBLISHED: 16:41 02 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 18 June 2010

MILK thieves, who plunder Ottery doorsteps in the dead of night, have left residents and a local dairy feeling sour.

MILK thieves, who plunder Ottery doorsteps in the dead of night, have left residents and a local dairy feeling sour.

The Herald has been told as many as 20 deliveries have been pinched recently, causing some residents to cancel their rounds.

Police say the pilfering of pints is a "regular occurrence", especially at around 3am on weekends, and no laughing matter- officers have vowed to step up night patrols to catch offenders who face an £80 on the spot fine.

PC Phil Thomas wants anyone who has suffered thefts to come forward. He said: "I would remind people this is still theft and offenders will be dealt with firmly. They are taking milk from pensioners and the elderly."

Slade Close resident Derek Baxter told the Herald how he was left "angry and irritated" after three pints of milk and a large bag of dog food went missing from his property earlier this month and he knows several neighbours who have suffered from thefts.

He said: "It is certainly happening on this estate and other places in the area and upsetting people who shouldn't be upset- these are mostly elderly people who have a milk-round so they don't have to go into town.

"Several other people have been distressed- just to come down and nick mine wouldn't be worthwhile.

"In the case of our three pints and dog food it couldn't have been a case of yobs running away, it was a very large bag (the dog food), it must have done by vehicle."

Dairy Crest, which delivers milk in Ottery, reimbursed Mr Baxter for his loss.

A spokesman said it was taking the spate of thefts "very seriously" and said: "Not only does it affect our customers but also damages the livelihood of the milkmen.

"We urge customers to report any incidents of milk theft from their doorsteps to police.

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