Off-duty cop nabs shoplifter after store steak theft
THIEF CAUGHT RED-HANDED
A HAPLESS thief tried to pocket packets of steak from a supermarket directly in front of an off-duty police officer.
Daniel Whitelaw, who didn’t appear in court in person as he was already serving a prison sentence for stealing lead from a pub, was caught in the act at a Sainsbury’s store in Tynemouth.
The 24-year-old, who has 33 theft offences on his record, was quickly detained by the eagle-eyed officer and the meat, worth £29.20, was retrieved.
He was due to before North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last week but couldn’t attend as he’d since been jailed. His solicitor, Kash Khan, entered a guilty plea to one count of shop theft on his behalf.
Prosecutor, Marc Atkins, said Whitelaw, of Savile Street, in North Shields, had entered the Sainsbury’s store, on Broadway, Tynemouth, on October 17 this year.
He added: “Store staff notice the defendant putting multiple packets of steaks into a bag.
“It was also seen by an offduty police officer, who followed the defendant out the store and detained him and retrieved the items.
“The items were able to be re-sold, so there’s no application for compensation.”
Magistrates were told that Whitelaw was jailed on October 26 after stealing lead from the Magnesia Bank Pub, in North Shields, and breaching a suspended sentence,
which had been imposed for similar offending earlier in the year.
Mr Khan said Whitelaw, who already owes more than £4,000 to the courts, said the latest offence was “low level” and was not sophisticated. He added: “He was always going to be apprehended. “His benefits had stopped at the time. He was not able to work. He had been working but, at that time, had no income.
“The frustration of not having benefits led him to steal living essentials.” Magistrates gave Whitelaw a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a £22 victim surcharge.
Store staff notice the defendant putting multiple packets of steaks into a bag