Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trapped!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Trapped!

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Underwood

Undercover security guards have helped police to collar more than 50 prolific pickpockets and shoplifters on Teesside.

Three store security guards, dressed as civilians, have been patrolling Redcar town centre in their spare time to identify crooks targeting Christmas shoppers.

The trio are linked to police and CCTV using hidden ear-pieces and alert officers when they spot suspects operating in the town.

They were drafted in by Cleveland Police as part of Operation Scrooge - a massive crackdown on theft in Redcar - which has seen 53 arrests and a reduction in losses by stores.

Inspector Dave Mead, of Redcar police, came up with the idea. He said: "It has been one of the great success stories of Operation Scrooge.

"They have acted as extra eyes and ears for us and have been crucial in helping us catch suspects."

He added: "They know the town and know some of our main suspects so they are ideally placed to carry out this role. …

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