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Upminster food thief arrested after dropping solicitor’s letter during struggle with Aldi staff

17:01 27 February 2013

Archant

A bungling food thief left behind a letter from his solicitor during a struggle with supermarket staff.

Shop workers at Aldi in St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, spotted Gary Cook acting suspiciously on Monday, January 14.

Despite their attempts to stop the 22-year-old from leaving, he managed to escape.

But during the struggle he dropped a letter from his solicitor that included his name and address.

Staff used the neighbourhood “town link” radio system, installed last year, to contact police officers from the Upminster Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

The police immediately headed for the address, in Stafford Avenue, Hornchurch, where they arrested Cook on suspicion of theft.

He pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates’ Court on January 26 and was sentenced to four weeks in prison for stealing the food, worth £41.35.

Acting Sergeant Ross Evans said: “The fact the suspect was kind enough to leave behind a letter containing his name and address was extremely helpful.

“This incident has once again shown the effectiveness of the Upminster town link radio system. If any shops who have yet to join this initiative would like further information, they should contact us at our ward base.”

Aldi was among the first shops to sign up to the radio link, which allows them to communicate directly with local police officers and other traders in the area about anyone they see acting suspiciously.

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