It’s a stick up – gangs rob gum to send abroad

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

CHEW­ING gum has be­come a top tar­get for thieves up and down the coun­try.

But rob­bers aren’t steal­ing it to freshen their breath –they’re flog­ging it to Ro­ma­nia.

Cops say it is a “ma­jor prob­lem” in cities across the UK with thou­sands of pounds’ worth of gum stolen from shops.

Po­lice be­lieve gangs iden­tify an easy tar­get where large amounts of gum are left on shelves, then go in and nick piles of boxes at once.

The gum is sent to Ro­ma­nia, where shops give it to cus­tomers in­stead of change.

The plot came to light when cops re­alised all the thieves they caught at it were Ro­ma­nian.

PC David Wal­ton from West Mer­cia Po­lice said: “We are not talk­ing about a cou­ple of packs – we are talk­ing about five, six, seven maybe eight hun­dred pounds’ worth in one go.

“They are load­ing up the trol­ley and brazenly walk­ing out with it.

“It be­came ap­par­ent it was just Ro­ma­nian na­tion­als. Gum has a tan­gi­ble value back home. If you are in a shop on a corner or a kiosk and they don’t have suf­fi­cient change they will give you sticks of gum.”

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