Express & Star

Multiple people in custody for Black Country shoplifting offences - including one man accused of stabbing security guard with needle

Seven people were in the West Midlands Police custody blocks on Sunday for shoplifting offences across the Black Country.


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Among those in the force's detention blocks was a 38-year-old man who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of stabbing a security guard with a needle at a Tipton superstore after attempting to steal alcohol.

A man, aged 42, and woman, aged 28, were also in custody after staff at a Walsall town centre shoe shop were "threatened" with a knife.

Police say it happened after the suspects were confronted over not paying for a pair of trainers.

Joining them in custody was a man who allegedly assaulted staff at a convenience store in West Bromwich on Tuesday when challenged for taking meat without payment before making off.

He was arrested at his home address on Sunday morning.

A 30-year-old woman was meanwhile seen on CCTV trying to make off without paying for goods at a Walsall shop, police said.

Officers discovered she was also wanted for failing to attend a mandatory drug test.

A 60-year-old woman was also in the police detention blocks suspected of stealing £300 worth of cosmetics in Tipton.

A man, aged 42, is also in custody on suspicion of concealing bedding from a Wolverhampton shop after officers made his arrest in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police said thefts from shops and stalls increased by almost 50 per cent in the region from 2022 to 2023, as the rate of shoplifting reaches its highest for two decades nationally.

An upcoming bill in Parliament will see assaulting shop staff made a specific criminal offence.

Under the proposed new law, perpetrators could be sent to prison for up to six months, receive an unlimited fine and be banned from going back to the shop where they committed their crimes, with criminal behaviour orders (CBOs) barring them visiting specific premises.

If they breach these CBOs, they can be sentenced to five years in prison.

For the most serious cases of assault, such as causing grievous bodily harm with intent, offenders could face a lengthy sentence.

West Midlands Police said it "routinely" carries out high visibility patrols in retail areas to trace and catch offenders.