POLICE have arrested two teenagers during an undercover operation to crackdown on prolific shoplifting in Cheadle town centre.
In response to numerous complaints from the supermarkets and other retail premises in Cheadle town centre with regards to teenagers shoplifting on their way to and from local schools, PC Dave Stubbs, from the Cheadle Town Neighbourhood Team, has investigated these complaints and established that there is a significant problem with pupils from local schools getting involved in the theft of confectionery items such as sweets, energy drinks, chocolate and chewing gum, which are being sold on to other children at school.
To address this problem police officers from the Neighbourhood Team, working in close liaison with the supermarkets and retail premises, have conducted plain clothes patrols and two 15-year-old boys from a local school were detained after being caught in the act of shoplifting by police officers and a number of stolen items were recovered. Inquiries have led officers to believe that this is not an isolated incident and may involve a number of other young people.
Inquiries are ongoing to identify all people involved in these thefts and those receiving the stolen goods.
All those identified will be processed through the Youth Justice System in co-operation with their school and parents.
PC Stubbs said: "Theft from retail premises in Cheadle Town has been a problem that has been raised with me a number of times in recent weeks and it is an issue that both I and my colleagues within Staffordshire Police take very seriously.
"Staffordshire Police will take robust action against all people involved in retail theft in and around Cheadle town centre and this is an issue I will continue to monitor.
"Staffordshire Police will continue to work with local businesses to provide reassurance and we will continue plain clothes patrols to identify and detect persons involved in theft."