Hitchin thief caught by off-duty officer in Letchworth Lidl is jailed for 20 weeks

A thief who was caught after an off-duty police officer intervened in a Letchworth supermarket has b

A thief who was caught after an off-duty police officer intervened in a Letchworth supermarket has been jailed for 20 weeks. - Credit: Archant

A thief who was caught after an off-duty police officer intervened in a Letchworth supermarket has been jailed for 20 weeks.

Stephen Cox, of Wilshere Crescent in Hitchin, admitted to Stevenage magistrates that he had stolen alcohol and meat worth £258.80 from Letchworth’s Lidl on September 6.

The 49-year-old also pleaded guilty to stealing 50 pairs of boxer shorts and a suitcase – worth £909.50 in total – from Stevenage’s TK Maxx, as well as a Dyson vacuum cleaner from the town’s B&M Bargains store, and a pressure washer from the Letchworth branch of Wilko.

All of these offences were committed alongside 47-year-old Colin Hemmings, of Grimstone Road in Little Wymondley, who earlier pleaded guilty and received a 28-week jail sentence.

They were arrested at the Letchworth Lidl by off-duty officer Det Sgt Mim Law, who was shopping when she spotted them acting suspiciously. Two other off-duty officers and members of the public assisted in the arrests.


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Cox received consecutive five-week sentences for each of the four thefts to make a total term of 20 weeks.

Chairman of the bench Leah Bretton also ordered him to pay £200 in costs, a £115 surchage and a total of £592.25 in compensation to the businesses he stole from.

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