Eagle-eyed shoppers help police catch family of thieves
EAGLE-EYED customers and shopkeepers helped police stop a family of shoplifters who swept through Stroud.
Officers were guided to a Stroud High Street store by a shopkeeper who had been alerted by a customer. As the trio, who had two children with them, left Shaws haberdashery they were arrested.
Later 140 items worth a total of £850 were found in a vehicle.
The women, from Ennis in Ireland, were given formal cautions.
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Six High Street shops, and one each in Lansdown, Kendrick Street, and King Street fell victim to the family, who told officers they were on holiday and staying in Gloucester.
In each shop, including three charity shops, they concealed items and left without paying on Thursday afternoon.
Fiona Mills-Carlyon, owner of Moonflower, said she was alerted to the shoplifters by a customer who told her the Oxfam Charity shop in King Street had earlier been targeted.
"I called the police and the women went to Shaws," she said.
"The police kept me on the phone and three officers came down the High Street and caught them at Shaws."
She later discovered items had been taken from her clothing and accessories boutique too.
Shop assistants in Shaws said nothing was taken from their store but they later found items which they believed to have been stolen from other shops, hidden in displays.
Also found were nutcrackers and scissors which they believe may have been used to remove price and security tags. Staff at Oxfam confirmed some toiletries were taken.
Police said the stolen property they had recovered included clothing, toiletries, jewellery, shoes, DVDs and stationary. They are in the process of returning the items to the shops.