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    Five shoplifters behind bars for Christmas as crackdown on retail crime continues in South Yorkshire

    (L-R): Glynn Platts, Brandon Gilbert, Kydi Oberg, Nathan Atkin, Gary Devy (Photo: South Yorkshire Police)

    Five South Yorkshire shoplifters have been put behind bars for Christmas as police continue their crackdown on prolific thieves committing retail crime.

    Nathan Atkin, 41, Kydi Oberg, 30, and Brandon Gilbert, 21, have been jailed for 20 weeks, 30 weeks and 34 weeks, respectively, after stealing over £900 worth of goods from stores across Doncaster in the run-up to Christmas.

    Glynn Platts, 36, has also been jailed for 21 weeks after committing a series of thefts in the Crystal Peaks area of Sheffield in recent weeks. Gary Devy, 41, who plundered hundreds of pounds worth of products from the same One Stop shop in Wheatley, has been jailed for five months.

    Atkin, of no fixed abode, was jailed after grabbing two bottles of Baileys from a promotional stand in Sainsbury’s in Frenchgate, hiding them under his jacket and walking out of the store without paying for them.

    He was caught on CCTV committing the theft and was recognised as a prolific offender. Atkin pleaded guilty to one count of theft at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on 12 December and sentenced on the same day.

    Oberg, who is also of no fixed abode, plundered eight bottles of wine from a One Stop in Morley Road, Wheatley, before stealing £83.75 worth of products from Boots in Wheatley Hall Road.

    His third theft saw him steal £274 worth of seasonal gifts from the same Boots store and he was arrested on 12 December after being found in possession of a knife.

    Oberg learnt his punishment at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on 14 December after admitting three counts of theft and possession of a bladed article.

    Gilbert, of Beech Road, Campsall, was jailed on the same day in the same court after plundering a random assortment of items from stores across Doncaster.

    He plundered hats, scarves, cheese, sweets and Christmas gift packs from a One Stop and a petrol station, and even terrorised a member of staff by threatening to squirt bleach on her.

    He was charged with assault and five counts of theft, admitting all the offences at court.

    Platts, of Raseby Avenue, Waterthorpe, was charged with 20 theft offences committed at Crystal Peaks shopping centre and Drakehouse Retail Park in Sheffield across October, November and early December. On 13 December, he pleaded guilty to all the offences and was jailed.

    Devy, of Schofield Street, Mexborough, targeted the One Stop shop in Wheatley on five separate occasions between 30 October and 1 December.

    He was arrested on 2 December just hours after stealing 20 pairs of pyjamas worth over £300 from The Original Factory Shop in Mexborough.

    Devy’s thefts from One Stop saw him steal a range of items, including jars of coffee and £76 worth of chocolate.

    On one occasion, Devy was confronted by a member of staff as he filled up a bag with items. However, he ignored her and then left the store without paying for anything.

    Every single of Devy’s thefts was caught on CCTV and after being charged with six counts of theft, he admitted all the offences at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court on 4 December. He was sentenced the same day.

    Dedicated retail crime teams have been launched in Doncaster and Sheffield which have enabled a cohort of officers to focus on targeting prolific shoplifters and building crucial intelligence on their patterns of behaviour.

    “We remain committed as a force to tackling retail crime and having dedicated teams of officers targeting prolific offenders has resulted in a number of significant convictions,” chief inspector David Struggles, who is the lead for retail crime at South Yorkshire Police, said.

    “Shoplifters wreak misery on our local communities and their crimes are not victimless. We will not tolerate it here in South Yorkshire and that’s why we have stepped up targeted patrols in hotspot areas, including our town and city centres where retail crime is more prevalent.

    “Shop workers should not have to deal with thieves in their day-to-day jobs, particularly during the festive period which is already such a busy time for workers.”

    Last week, the South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings and assistance chief constable Dan Thorpe invited leaders from the business and retail community to a retail crime networking event.

    “This provided an opportunity for us to meet retailers and forge key partnerships in order to accurately understand and reduce the impact of retail crime through co-ordinated activity between police and the business community,” CI Struggles added.

    “We are also backing the government’s new Retail Crime Action Plan and Project Pegasus which has been launched to specifically combat shoplifting.

    “I would urge any business that has been a victim of shoplifting to report it to us immediately. Only then can we properly investigate these offences and work together with retailers to combat retail crime.”

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