Latest arrests and charges as Maidstone shoplifting clampdown continues
Main article content
Two men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the theft of hundreds of pounds of grocery items from supermarkets in Maidstone.
They were detained earlier this month as a clampdown on shoplifting in the town continues.
Darren Turpin was arrested on Monday 5 February and charged with two counts of theft, relating to offences in Iceland during the previous three days.
He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on the following day, where he also faced charges of assault, breaching a criminal behaviour order and attempted criminal damage.
Turpin, 55, of Marsham Street, Maidstone was remanded in custody, until a hearing at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on 13 February.
In another case this week, officers from the Maidstone Neighbourhood Task Force arrested Sharna Steady.
On Tuesday 6 February, Steady pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates’ Court to three counts of theft after she stole more than £300 of chocolate and other confectionery items.
These offences happened on 3 January at a Sainsbury’s in Tonbridge Road and on two occasions at Tesco, Loose Road, on 9 January.
The 33-year-old, of Mangravet Avenue, was bailed until sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court on 27 February.
Work to protect the town's retailers also includes tracking down offenders in other areas of Kent, as well as outside of the county.
On Tuesday 6 February, a known shoplifter, suspected to be responsible for several offences in Maidstone was tracked to Cliffsend in Ramsgate, where he was arrested after being found asleep in a van.
The 36-year-old, from Portsmouth, Hampshire is being investigated for three shop thefts in January, when a Marks and Spencer store in Eclipse Park was targeted. He is currently on bail until 2 May, pending further enquiries.
Chief Inspector Mark McLellan said: ‘We remain committed to protecting businesses in Maidstone from those who see them as easy pickings. 'Along with plain clothes officers who blend in with the crowds, we use visible targeted patrols in order to gain valuable intelligence and identify potential offenders. ‘So far this year, we have already arrested 52 suspects and successfully brought almost 30 charges. 'Shoplifting is never a victimless crime and the arrests and charges we are continuing to make hopefully demonstrate it is simply not something we are willing to tolerate.’