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Man arrested in connection with Waitrose theft appears in court

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A man who was arrested after he allegedly tried to steal alcohol from a store in Stamford has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance later this week.

Ben Lavelle, 40, of Granville Avenue, Oadby, Leicetser was apprehended after he was allegedly caught trying to steal £500 worth of alcohol from Waitrose in Stamford on January 29.

He first appeared in the Lincoln Magistrates Court on January 30, and was remanded in custody until February 1.

Lincoln Magistrates' Court (6633130)
Lincoln Magistrates' Court (6633130)

He was subsequently remanded in custody again and is due back in court on Friday, February 8 where he is due to enter a plea.

Lavelle is facing five charges of shoplifting and one charge of assault.

The charges relate to last week's incident, two earlier in January and a further two in December.

Community Policing Inspector for Stamford, Inspector Ian Martin, said Lavelle had been arrested by in-store detectives.

"Waitrose has suffered a few incidents recently and working with them, we suggested they place in-store detectives in the shop," he said.

Police then received a call on January 29 from the store after a person was detained by the in-store detectives.

"He put up a fight, was verbally abusive and was kicking, screaming, spitting, swearing and tried to escape," said Inspector Martin, adding that Lavelle was taken into custody.

He said Lavelle was also linked to offences in the store on December 28 and 30 and January 15 and 21.

"He has been charged with assault and the theft of alcohol totalling £2,300 from the five shoplifting offences."

Inspector Martin said that based on his address, Lavelle had travelled "some distance" to commit the alleged offences.

"Waitrose has been targeted along with a couple of other shops," he said.

"Stamford is on the border with other counties and is one of the towns that criminals come to steal outside of the area where they live.

"They believe that crossing county borders will make it more difficult for them to be identified by the different police forces.

"But we work closely with other forces and have really good intelligence links.

"They (the criminals) think Stamford is a soft target, which it isn't as we have proved with a number of arrests in the past year."

A Waitrose store manger said: "The police responded really quickly to the incident and we'd like to thank them for their assistance."

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