Would-be thieves are are being warned that there will be no let-up on a police crackdown on shoplifting after another suspect was charged with a series of offences across Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.
Kent Police has been investigating a string of linked crimes in both towns, where Sainsbury’s stores were allegedly targeted by a thief who repeatedly stole Lego sets, as well as food and confectionery.
The thefts are reported to have taken place between 22 November and 3 December 2023 and include an incident at Fenwick in the Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, where a Prada gift bag was stolen.
An investigation is being led by the Tonbridge Victim Based Crime Team, and on Tuesday 5 December a man aged 43, of no fixed address, was arrested.
He was charged with six counts of theft, and remanded to appear before Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 6 December.
Detective Inspector Rik Spicer said:
‘Shoplifting is never a victimless crime, and it is certainly not something we are ever willing to tolerate. Our local officers are committed to protecting retailers, who ultimately are left with little choice but to pass on the cost of thefts to law abiding customers.
‘Members of the public should be reassured that we remain focused on using every tool at our disposal to detect and arrest suspects and bring them before the courts at the earliest opportunity. This includes our use of plain clothes constables who blend in with the crowds, as well as visible targeted patrols, in order to gain valuable intelligence and identify potential offenders.’