Cornwall

Police warning after shoplifters raid Truro store

Police have advised shop owners to be vigilant of shoplifters in the run up to Christmas following a raid on a clothing store in Truro.

Hundreds of pounds worth of lambswool sweaters were stolen from the Benetton store in the city.

Insp Mark Richards said economic hardship, rising unemployment and falling incomes meant theft was a "very real prospect for some people".

Benetton franchise owner, Chris Hunter, said he was "shocked" by the raid.

Undercover officers

Mr Hunter said: "I've worked in places such as Reading and London where it happened on a daily basis, but since having the shop in Cornwall I've always felt it's very safe and very trusting, but now it's just the same as everywhere else."

Police said that since 1 April, thefts in Truro had increased by 12% from 170 to 191 incidents, although national research suggested only about one in 120 shop thefts were reported to police.

Mr Richards said that in the coming weeks there would be increased patrols, including undercover officers.

"We will be targeting the pre-Christmas shopping season to catch and convict as many shoplifters as we can," he added.

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