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Two men arrested for shoplifting by an Essex Police officer who popped into Sainsbury’s for a sandwich have been sentenced.
Chief Inspector Terry Balding was entering the Tollgate store in Stanway to pick up some lunch when he saw two members of security staff struggling with two youths, who were holding carrier bags full of make-up.
Terry immediately went over and arrested a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old on suspicion of theft from a shop. The pair, from Peterborough, were both later charged and each subsequently admitted the offence at court.
The 19-year-old was ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a £114 victim surcharge.
The 17-year-old was given a nine-month referral order and ordered to pay £245 costs and a £26 victim surcharge.
Neither defendant was asked to pay compensation because the items were recovered.
On 14 December 2022, Sainsbury’s store detectives had seen the two teenagers selecting numerous beauty products, valued at £2,805.45, and putting them into the carrier bags. The pair, who made no attempt to pay, were followed out of the store, where they were stopped by security staff.
Chief Inspector Terry Balding was nipping into the store after a meeting and, as he was going in, saw two members of security staff struggling with two people inside the store.
“The situation was increasingly becoming aggressive.
“Police officers are never off duty, in or out of uniform, and I immediately went over to help and identified myself as a police officer.
“The two teenagers had with them carrier bags full of cosmetics and so, when I had the situation under control, I arrested them both on suspicion of theft from a shop.
“Sainsbury’s staff had already rung police and colleagues from Colchester Local Policing Team arrived minutes later to take them to custody and interview them about the incident.”
And Terry praised the actions of the staff:
“The behaviour of the security staff and managers was thoroughly professional despite the barrage of verbal abuse and aggression faced by us. I am grateful for their support.”
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