Bridlington Free Press readers help police identify thieves

DS Mark Ormiston
DS Mark Ormiston

A POLICE operation cracking down on shoplifters is producing positive results – with Free Press readers playing their part in helping to identify the thieves.

Retail crime crackdown Operation Lilly was launched by Humberside Police earlier this month in a bid to identify and track down prolific shoplifters operating in the East Riding.

The move came as figures revealed that the number of shop thefts in Bridlington 
accounted for more than a quarter of all those reported in the whole of the East Riding between the beginning of April last year and the end of March this year.

Now into its third week, Operation Lilly is said to be producing “good results”.

Six people have been identified as a direct result of the media campaign, including a Sheffield woman who was seen stealing meat products from a Bridlington supermarket.

In total, across the region, 24 people have been charged with shop theft offences, of which 19 were remanded in custody awaiting a court appearance, two were cautioned, two were given an £80 fixed penalty notice and one person has been circulated as wanted.

Det Sgt Mark Ormiston, of Humberside Police, said: “I am really pleased with the results so far.

“What is more exciting is my officers are now ‘arrest ready’ to lock up a further nine alleged shop thieves who are known to be career criminals.

“I would strongly suggest if anyone has recently stolen anything from a retail outlet, to come forward, it is quite possible your photo will be released and to save you the embarrassment hand yourself in.”

Among those identified so far are a 38-year-old woman, who is believed to be living in Sheffield, who is alleged to have stolen meat from Iceland in Bridlington on March 25.

A 33-year-old woman, also from Sheffield, has also been named as allegedly stealing from the same store on April 11, with detectives now working with South Yorkshire Police to arrest and detain her in readiness for an interview.

A 25-year-old woman who was travelling into the East Riding from Northampton to shoplift bottles of spirits from supermarkets has also been identified as a result of Operation Lilly.

DS Ormiston said: “It was always suspected a number of our prolific shop thieves who commit crimes in the East Riding were out of towners, yet despite this the police have received a number of calls from people in our area.

“This is really pleasing and now we are working with a number of different forces to arrest them on our behalf.”