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Medway Officers Continue Targeting Prolific Shoplifting Suspects

In Medway, the campaign to combat retail crime persists, yielding immediate results with a prison sentence for one prolific thief and multiple charges for another suspect.



Neighbourhood officers collaborate closely with the town’s Victim Based Crime Team, ensuring swift responses to reported thefts and prompt charging of suspects when appropriate.


Between Sunday 17th March and Tuesday 19th March 2024, Louis Foster committed thefts on four occasions, stealing large quantities of wine from a store in Luton Road, Chatham. The total value of the stolen items amounted to £291. Foster was identified through CCTV footage at the premises and subsequently located and arrested in Institute Road on Wednesday 3rd April. During the arrest, constables seized a knife from his waistband. Foster, residing at High Street, Chatham, was charged with four counts of theft and possession of a knife in a public place. He pleaded guilty to all charges at his initial hearing before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Friday 5th April and was promptly sentenced to six months in prison, along with an order to pay £291 in compensation.


In a separate investigation, staff members at a shop in Maidstone Road, Chatham, reported several incidents of theft between Friday 15th March and Thursday 4th April. Meat, dairy products, and other items with an approximate total value of £330 were allegedly stolen.


Following thorough enquiries by officers from the town’s neighbourhood policing team, a suspect, Lee Swift of High Street, Chatham, was arrested on Thursday 4th April. Swift was later charged by investigators from the Medway Victim Based Crime Team with nine counts of theft. The 45-year-old was conditionally bailed pending a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on 10th May.


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