Nisa retailer Kishor Patel has expressed his outrage after a shoplifter got away scot-free at his store.
The shoplifter was spotted at his Houghton Regis store in Bedfordshire on 24 December, 2013, when staff members recognised someone they suspected of stealing stock on a previous occasion.
“The first time she came in she stole £60-£80-worth of meat from us, and then she came in again a few weeks later,” said Kishor. “We recognised her from the first incident so we detained her and called the police.”
According to Kishor, the police took 25 minutes to arrive and in that time the shoplifter taunted staff about how she would get away with it. When the police arrived, Kishor showed them the CCTV footage from the first incident and the police agreed that it was likely to be the same person.
However, despite having clear CCTV footage, Befordshire Police informed Kishor that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.
Kishor said that he had lost faith in the policing system. “The evidence was crystal clear and it was quite obvious that it was the same person,” he said. “Do they not want us to call the police?
“This has been demoralising for me and my staff, who are working hard to serve the local community,” he added. “If this keeps happening, crime rates will continue to grow and retailers will be forced to take the law into their own hands.”
Kishor has raised the issue with his local Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins, who said he was disappointed with the outcome and pledged to look into the issue.
A CPS spokeswoman told C-Store that the case had been dropped due to “insufficient evidence from both incidents”.