Police inspector 'pleased' to see prolific South Shields thief jailed to 'contemplate his actions' after stealing a pram, wine and handbag

Officers say they are ‘pleased’ to see a serial offender from South Shields behind bars after he stole an 82-year-old woman's handbag from a pub table and a child's pram from a car.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 4:37 pm
He was dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court

Steven Wastell from South Shields swiped the bag belonging to an 82-year-old woman from Middlesbrough from under a table in The Goose pub in Newcastle on September 30.

The 39-year-old, who has 185 convictions on his record, was challenged by door staff as he left the pub but was able to push his way through the doors after acting aggressively towards the employees.

Officers were contacted and were able to trace Wastell’s movements through the city and obtained a clear image of his face which was then distributed to all officers.

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Crime scene investigators were also drafted in to recover forensic evidence, before a Sunderland Neighbourhood Policing Team officer recognised Wastell as the culprit.

Just a few weeks earlier, in the early hours of September 3, Wastell had taken £130 worth of property, including a pram, wine and hand cream from a Renault vehicle that was parked in Birchington Avenue, South Shields.

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The 39-year-old, of Annand Court, South Shields appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on October 7, where he was jailed for six months.

Northumbria Police inspector Karen Madge says she is ‘pleased’ he is now behind bars where he can ‘seriously contemplate his actions’.

She said: “Wastell is a prolific offender who is yet to learn the error of his ways and I am pleased he is now behind bars where he can seriously contemplate his actions.

“Theft is a serious offence which can have a detrimental impact on its victims. In this case, he saw an opportunity to take something which didn’t belong to him and he took it without any regard for the consequences. This left a pensioner stranded in a different city without her possessions.

“Thanks to a fantastic team effort involving our neighbourhood policing teams and scenes of crime officers, we were able to not only trace Wastell’s every movement following the incident, but recover forensic evidence which left him unable to deny his involvement.

“I want to reassure our communities we will do all we can to tackle this type of criminality.”

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