Shopper who had phone stolen in Sunderland gets early Christmas present from police

Police have Christmas all wrapped up for a shopper who had her mobile phone stolen.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 1:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 1:48 pm

Danielle Thomson, 25, was in the Bridges in Sunderland yesterday lunchtime when she discovered her phone had disappeared.

She had placed it on a shelf while trying on shoes in New Look when it was snatched.

Danielle Thomson after police returned her stolen phone.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Danielle, who lives in South Shields, reported the theft to police and enquiries were quickly made to locate those responsible.

After a quick trawl of the centre’s CCTV cameras, police identified a suspect and apprehended a woman who was attempting to sell the phone in a nearby pawnbroker.

But officers weren’t done there.

They dropped into department store Debenhams to get the retrieved phone gift-wrapped and even slipped a personalised note inside which read: ‘Happy Christmas Danielle. Best wishes, from Sunderland city centre policing team #OpKraken.”

Danielle's phone was gift-wrapped by staff at Debenhams in the Bridges.

Officers then met back up with Danielle to hand her a special pre-Christmas gift.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for helping me," said Danielle.

“The police were absolutely fantastic and it shows there are some nice people out there at this time of year.

“I really appreciate their efforts to help get my phone back, and to the shop employees who let officers to use their CCTV to find the person responsible.

The note Danielle was given by police.

“It was a really nice surprise and I’m so thankful.”

PC Chris Pennock, of Northumbria Police, said the small gesture meant a lot to the victim.

He said: “Danielle was clearly upset by what had happened, and it was quick partnership working that allowed us to locate the individual responsible and return the phone to the victim.

“It was a small gesture, but a nice one to make at this time of year.

“As part of Operation Kraken, throughout December, we have been working closely with Sunderland BID and the Bridges to ensure shoppers and businesses remain safe and secure.

“The operation has seen more officers on patrol in the city centre, working alongside partners, to catch criminals and ensure we create a hassle-free, safe environment for shoppers and retailers.”

A 35-year-old woman was interviewed under caution and given a caution.