POLICE charged 30 people with shop theft in the space of a month as they continue a major crackdown on retail crime.
Officers have joined forces with Shopwatch schemes in busy retail areas of the borough – including King Street in South Shields and Jarrow’s Viking Centre – to target suspects as part of Operation Soundwave, which targets those suspected of being involved in opportunist crime.
During March, 30 people were charged with shop thefts in South Tyneside, and nine people were cautioned, with one person receiving a summons.
Chief Inspector Brian Walker, South Tyneside Area Command, said: “Officers are carrying out extra patrols in busy retail areas in the borough to prevent offences.
“There are successful Shopwatch schemes in South Tyneside where information about suspects is shared amongst businesses and the police so thieves can be prevented from entering retail premises.
“But when offences are committed we’re taking action and people could find themselves being arrested and ending up with a criminal record which could ultimately impact on the their future.”
Recent arrests made during the operation include:
n Steven Paul Wastell, 32, of Beach Road, South Shields, has been charged with shoplifting after food was stolen from the One Stop Shop at Stanhope Road, in South Shields, on April 19.
He is due to appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on May 8.
n Paul Darren Murray, 41, of Ormond Street, Jarrow, has been charged with a theft from Asda at Coronation Street, in South Shields, from April 19.
He is due to appear at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on May 29.
n A woman aged 59 received a caution after a theft from Home Bargains at Jarrow on April 22.
Lisa Leigh Morton, 31, of Beach Road, South Shields, received a three-week sentence, suspended for 12 months when she appeared at court on April 23 for a theft from Shoe Zone at King Street, in South Shields, which happened on April 22.
n Nichola Wilson, 33, of Cotman Gardens, South Shields, has been charged with a theft from Morrison’s at the Viking Precinct at Jarrow from April 22.
She will appear at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on June 3.
n A 25-year-old woman received a caution after a theft from Asda, at Coronation Street, which happened on April 24.
n Stephen Smith, 48, of Victoria Road, South Shields, was arrested and charged on April 25 with a theft from Sainsbury’s, at Binchester Street, in South Shields, on April 11 and will appear at court on June 3.