SHOPLIFTERS have been caught with a wide variety of stolen goods as a police clampdown delivers positive results.
Officers across Cleveland have made 122 arrests in connection with shoplifting offences since November 30 while there has been 188 offences were reported in Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough.
In addition to these arrests, 14 people attended police stations voluntarily to be questioned, three people were given warnings and two received fixed penalty notices.
Joints of beef, sirloin steaks, cheese, clothing, alcohol, cosmetics, other food items, and even a Christmas tree are just some of the products reported to have been stolen in the run-up to the festive period.
Chief Inspector Steve Jermy (CORR), who is co-ordinating the Force response to shoplifting, said: “We will continue to work proactively to catch those who shoplift and bring them to justice, not just during the Christmas period, but throughout the year.
“Teams of officers are working across Cleveland as a deterrent to these criminals and to reassure residents by being visible and accessible.
“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime, it hits hard at businesses, and more so to smaller businesses that can’t afford to withstand stock loss.”
Anyone with information should contact police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.