Sherwood Thief prime suspect
Photo: itv

Caught on Camera: Sherwood Thief’s Run-In with Police During Shop Escape

In a twist of irony, a shoplifter’s desperate attempt to escape arrest ended abruptly when he ran straight into police officers waiting outside. Kirk Wharton was in the act of pilfering from the Co-op store on Mansfield Road, Sherwood, on Tuesday, August 15, when the police caught him, literally.

Interestingly, the police were already at the location, investigating a series of shop thefts. An officer was inside the CCTV control room when alerted by the store’s staff about Wharton’s presence. This officer then informed her two colleagues waiting outside in an unmarked car and proceeded to apprehend the suspect inside the store.

Wharton’s futile escape endeavor saw him rushing towards the store’s exit, only to be met head-on by the police officers. The 33-year-old, who had no permanent residence, was soon charged with a whopping 25 shop thefts totaling around £2,250 in stolen goods.

Wharton’s criminal record, presented at Nottingham Crown Court, revealed that he had been repeatedly targeting Co-op stores between June 18 and August 8, 2023. Beyond the thefts, he also faced charges for neglecting numerous drug rehabilitation and probation meetings, as part of a Community Rehabilitation order.

Prosecutors portrayed Wharton as a habitual offender, resorting to theft to sustain his drug habits. He typically targeted perishable items like meat, cheese, and fish.

After confessing to all 26 charges, Wharton was handed a 22-week prison sentence on August 25.

Commenting on the case, PC Phoebe Lau stated, “Wharton’s consistent disregard for the law, driven by his addiction, is evident. Although community rehabilitation programs aim to reform such individuals, Wharton rejected this assistance. His inability to engage in the rehabilitation process has now led to his imprisonment. Our focus remains on reducing retail crime and ensuring that repeat offenders face the repercussions of their actions.”

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