Police brand Ottery milk thefts “unforgivable”

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 August 2010

Fifteen crimes took place in Budleigh Salterton between May 23 and June 27.

Fifteen crimes took place in Budleigh Salterton between May 23 and June 27.

Archant

Late night spate hits elderly and vulnerable hardest

POLICE have branded the actions of yobs who stole scores of pints of milk from the doorsteps of elderly and vulnerable Ottery residents as “unforgivable.”

Officers hope the late-night pilfering which saw nine bottles stolen from five addresses in Slade Close and Grandisson Drive is an isolated incident.

A prolonged spate last year saw the issue become the neighbourhood police team’s top priority.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Phil Thomas has warned offenders the tomfoolery is affecting innocent residents.

“It’s unfortunate,” said PC Thomas, “One complainant is a repeat victim. There is concern from people who are vulnerable and elderly as people entering their properties is putting them in fear of crime.

“Stealing their milk so they have to go into town to buy more is unforgivable.

“This cannot continue. It may seem trivial, but it causes a massive inconvenience to these residents.”

Revellers returning from night clubs could be behind the incident, which happened between 2.30am and 7.30am on August 10, according to PC Thomas.

The Herald reported last year how a summer spate of milk thefts was part of a twisted game played by teens.

A dairy had to reimburse numerous customers, some of whom cancelled their rounds. A spokesperson said the “very serious” matter was “affecting the livelihood of milkmen.”

An angered resident, who wanted to remain anonymous through fear of being targeted, said: “I don’t think they realise the problems they are causing, but they are thieves, simple as that.”

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