A crackdown on thefts from shops and restaurants in Tunbridge Wells has led to the arrests of two men linked to multiple offences.

A town centre constable arrested one serial thief just moments after hundreds of pounds worth of perfumes had been stolen from a store in Calverley Road. Daniel Findra was detained by the officer after he was seen leaving Boots the Chemist, shortly after 9am on 29 September 2022.

Patrols in the town had been on high alert following a string of recent thefts including at a department store, music shop and the Amelia Scott library. Findra, 36, of no fixed address was taken into custody and searches led to the recovery of several bottles and boxes containing fragrances.

He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on 30 September and pleaded guilty to four counts of theft. He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community work and pay compensation totalling almost £800.

In a separate and unrelated case, police investigated two break-ins at a restaurant in Grove Hill Road last month, where cash and a computer tablet were stolen. On 29 September, a 43-year-old man from Tunbridge Wells was arrested for these crimes by a plain clothes officer, as well as in connection with the theft of a bicycle and a washing machine. This suspect was later released pending the outcome of further investigations.

Sergeant Ed Kavanagh of the Tunbridge Wells Community Policing Team said: ‘Along with plain clothes officers who blend in with the crowds, we use visible targeted patrols in order gain valuable intelligence and identify potential offenders. Shoplifting is not a victimless crime and it is certainly not something we are willing to tolerate in this town. Offenders like Findra can have a drastic effect on businesses, which often have little choice but to pass on the cost of thefts to law abiding customers.’

Kent Police is also continuing to work in partnership with retailers as demonstrated by the success of the Shop Safe scheme. Shop Safe radios allow retailers to communicate with each other and are also monitored by police, and this improvement in communications helps with early identification and arrest of offenders.

By Ed

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