Shoplifters caught after press appeal

ALL nine suspected shoplifters whose photos were published in The Comet have been traced.

Jubilant police say the result is thanks to a fantastic response from Stevenage residents and the media.

At the end of November, Stevenage Safer Neighbourhoods Team issued CCTV images of a series of unidentified offenders who were caught on camera at the Co-op store in The Oval.

Of the nine images released, two of the people were charged with shoplifting, one admitted the offence and had it taken into consideration as part of a series of crimes, three were issued with fines, one was cautioned and one person had no further action taken against him. The ninth person was identified but there was not enough evidence to proceed to prosecution.

Those charged were:

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Stephen Bowker, 40, of Montfitchet Walk, Stevenage, who admitted shoplifting on September 22, 2011. He appeared before Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on December 12 and was fined �100 and ordered to pay �8.16 compensation to the Co-op.

Pattie Clarke, 45, of Vardon Road, Stevenage, admitted shoplifting on October 1, 2011. She appeared before Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on December 19 and was fined �50 with �85 court costs. She was also ordered to pay the Co-op �15 compensation.

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A 36-year-old man from Stevenage admitted the offence of shoplifting and had it taken into consideration as part of a series of other crimes.

Those issued with �80 fines were a 34-year-old man from Stevenage, a 32-year-old woman from Welwyn and a 26-year-old man from Stevenage.

A 52-year-old man from Stevenage was cautioned after admitting shoplifting on October 15.

A 31-year-old man from London was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting but no further action was taken.

Police community support officer Craig Rogers, from Stevenage Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: “We are really grateful to the public for coming forward with information – it really has made all the difference to solving these crimes.

“We would also really like to thank the local media – their continued help in publishing our appeals is really a crucial tool in crime-fighting. It really does go to show what we can achieve by working together as a community.”

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