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Willenhall man arrested on suspicion of shoplifting and common assault

A 43-year-old Willenhall man has been arrested and charged with thefts as police crack down on alleged shoplifting in the Black Country.


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Police arrested Lee Simpkiss yesterday and he was subsequently charged with 13 counts of theft from a shop or stall and common assault. He was due to appear at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court today.

Simpkiss is the fifth person to have been arrested recently in a West Midlands Police crackdown on alleged shoplifting in Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton East neighbourhood policing manager, Inspector Steven Edwards, said: "We take crimes against our businesses, stores, and traders seriously and have prioritised our response to retail crime."

Among those arrested recently were 25-year-old William Coney, from Walsall, who was jailed for 26 weeks last month after admitting to 27 counts of shop theft, between November last year and April this year.

Inspector Edwards said: "We work closely with shopping centres and store security to identify prolific offenders.

"Sadly a small minority of people are capable of committing a large number of offences affecting our local businesses, some of which are targeted frequently."

Also on the list of those arrested in relation to shoplifting offences are:

  • Cecelia Rhodes, 27, from Walsall, who later pleaded guilty to three counts of shop theft and was ordered to pay compensation.

  • Marc Burrows, aged 26, from Walsall, who was arrested three times within a week last month and has now been remanded awaiting three trials in June.

  • Charlie Maddox, 28, from Wolverhampton, who was arrested last month and is also remanded awaiting trial in June.

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