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