Eight people have been charged over a retail theft operation on the NSW central coast.
Police launched Operation Trader between 8am and 8pm on Tuesday at a shopping centre on Terrigal Drive, Erina, in an effort to target shoplifting offences.
Officers attached to Brisbane Water Local Area Command undertook the operation, with the assistance of Loss Prevention Officers.
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Results of Operation Trader included:
– A 32-year-old man has been charged after allegedly replacing the bar codes of items in a supermarket. After a short foot pursuit he was arrested and charged with 18 counts of obtain benefit by deception. He has been granted conditional bail, to appear at Gosford Local Court on 2 February 2016.
– A 20-year-old woman was charged after allegedly stealing items from a large department store. Police stopped and searched the woman after being called to the store, where they located wire cutters. The woman was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for two counts of shoplifting, and one count of possessing implements. She will appear at Gosford Local Court on 2 February 2016.
– Three further people were also issued Future Court Attendance Notices for alleged shoplifting incidents. A 25-year-old man will appear at Gosford Local Court on 2 February 2016; a 63-year-old woman will appear at Gosford Local Court on 23 February 2016; and a 34-year-old man will appear at Gosford Local Court on 2 February 2016.
– A 25-year-old woman has been issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for two counts of goods in custody, after police allegedly located a number of items believed to have been stolen on her, while she was at the shopping centre. She will appear at Gosford Local Court on 23 February 2016.
– A 17-year-old male was stopped and spoken to by police after exiting a retail store whilst in company of the offenders listed above and below. It’s alleged he assaulted two male police officers, kicking them while they tried to arrest him. The Constable and Senior Constable did not sustain any serious injury.
The 17-year-old was arrested and charged with his three outstanding revocation of parole warrants, 2 x assault police and 1 x resist arrest and 1 x Aggravated Break and Enter. It will be alleged he was involved in a break and enter at Springfield on 17 December 2015. He has been refused bail to appear at a Children’s Court today (Wednesday 23 December 2015).
– A 21-year-old man has also been issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for driving whilst suspended, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, after he was stopped by police after dropping the above mentioned 17-year-old boy and 25-year-old woman off at the shopping centre. He will appear at Gosford Local Court on 2 February 2016.
– Three people – a 52-year-old man, an 18-year-old man, and a 46-year-old woman – were issued Criminal Infringement Notices for shoplifting. A 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were also cautioned for shoplifting offences.
Detective Inspector Glenn Trayhurn, Crime Manager Brisbane Water Local Area Command, said police will continue to patrol shopping centres during the busy holiday season.
“Police will be out in force patrolling shopping centres in the area to help prevent theft and other related offences during, and following, the holiday season,” Detective Inspector Trayhurn said.
“Thieves may have a false sense of security given the increase in traffic through stored during the busy Christmas period.
“But an increase in security and improved surveillance technology is proving that offenders are easily caught.
“We will continue to work with retailers to make it clear that shoplifting and unlawful behaviour is not tolerated.
“To those thinking about committing unpaid or fraudulent shopping offences, I would suggest thinking again, as you will be caught,” he said.