Handbag thief jailed after being snared by plain clothed police
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A prolific thief was caught red-handed when he was spotted by neighbourhood police while they were carrying out a shoplifting operation.
Dean Earl had just filled his jacket with meat products when he ran into plain clothed officers as he tried to leave without paying.
Unbeknownst to the 42-year-old, Broxtowe officers from the City West Neighbourhood Policing team had been watching his every move inside Co-op in Lambourne Drive, Wollaton.
Earl was quickly detained by the officers after a quick search found he had around £100 worth of stolen stock under his coat.
Following that stop, which was conducted as part of a pre-planned plain clothed shoplifting operation on 28 September 2023, a check on the system revealed Earl was actually wanted in connection with three other shop thefts as well.
Two different TK Maxx stores were targeted as part of the shoplifting spree, with Earl firstly swiping four handbags – worth £200 – from the shelves of a store in Victoria Retail Park, Netherfield, on 22 June 2023.
He then made two separate visits to the branch in Giltbrook Retail Park, Giltbrook, on 4 and 8 July – once again stealing handbags on both occasions that were worth around £220.
After being picked up by the City West team, Earl, of no fixed address, was brought before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 29 September, where he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft.
He was then sentenced to a total of 56 days in prison for his crimes.
PC Sam Yallop, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“We understand how much of a negative impact shoplifting can have on businesses and in turn people’s livelihoods too, which is why we carry out regular operations like the one used in this instance.
“It is really important that we work closely with shops in our communities to identify and stop those who try to steal, and this was a great example of this approach working, as well as the effectiveness of using officers in plain clothes.
“Thanks to this operation, we were able to catch a prolific shop thief in the act and link him to a series of other thefts he was outstanding for too.
“As a result, Earl has now been put before the courts and taken off the streets after being given some prison time, so this was a really pleasing result.”