Police charge 23 people during shoplifting operation in Sydney CBD

Police have charged 23 people following a shoplifting operation in Sydney’s CBD this week.

Operation ‘Runaway’, comprising of officers from Sydney City Proactive Crime Team and the Street Policing Team, alongside Loss Prevention Officers (LPOs), was conducted on Wednesday (12 August 2020) targeting shoplifting offences at major retail stores.

During the operation, police arrested 23 people who were subsequently charged with various shoplifting, break, enter and steal, trespass, assault and weapons offences.

Incidents of note:

* About 1.50pm, two men were observed allegedly taking items from a retail store in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney. They were followed on foot by LPOs to St James Railway Station, where police attempted to approach them. After a short foot pursuit, both men – aged 25 and 31 – were arrested. Upon searching the younger man, police located a backpack containing a shoulder bag and clothing items valued at over $700. The older man was also searched, with police allegedly locating almost $500 worth of stolen clothing inside his backpack. Both men were taken to Surry Hills Police Station. The younger Waterloo man was charged with shoplifting, escape police custody, and goods in personal custody suspected being stolen (not m/v). The older Constitution Hill man was charged with shoplifting. They were both refused bail and appeared at Central Local Court yesterday (Thursday 13 August 2020), where the younger man was formally refused bail to reappear in the same court on Thursday 20 August 2020.

* At 2.10pm, LPOs approached a man outside a supermarket on the corner of George and Park streets, Sydney, after he allegedly stole items and threatened the officers. Police arrived shortly after and arrested the 22-year-old Surry Hills man. He was taken to Surry Hills Police Station where he was charged with common assault, shoplifting, and stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm (personal). He was refused bail and appeared at Central Local Court yesterday (Thursday 13 August 2020).

* About 2.45pm, police approached a 38-year-old man outside a World Square supermarket and upon searching him, they allegedly located food items, headphones and a box-cutter knife concealed in his underwear. He was arrested and taken to Surry Hills Police Station where he was charged with shoplifting, carry cutting weapon upon apprehension, and destroy or damage property. He was refused bail and appeared at Central Local Court yesterday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Thursday 27 August 2020.

* About midday, LPOs approached a man after observing him allegedly take a number of items from a supermarket in World Square without paying for them. Police attended and arrested the 54-year-old man, allegedly locating food and clothing items in his jacket. Subsequent checks revealed he had a lifetime ban on entering the NSW supermarket chain stores. He was taken to Day Street Police Station and charged with enter inclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse and shoplifting. The Silverwater man was refused bail and appeared at Central Local Court yesterday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Monday 17 August 2020.

Future operations will be conducted to disrupt, detect and deter criminal activity and retail theft offences in the Sydney City Police Area Command.

Anyone with information about retail theft or fraud offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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