A prolific shop thief who stole a variety of food and household items from his local area was captured by police after a pursuit

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Alistair Paterson targeted shops throughout the Newark area between May and July 2021, beginning with a food store in Lincoln Road. He was seen on CCTV taking several steaks before leaving without paying at around 9.20am on 16 May 2021.

A month later, the same food store was once again stolen from, and he was seen filling a bag with steaks for the second time. This happened at around 11.15am on 30 June 2021.

An array of detergent was reported stolen from the shelves of a shop in Albert Street, Newark little over a week after this, and on checking CCTV, officers saw that Paterson had taken the items at around 3.25pm on 9 July 2021.

A woman working at a food store in Jersey Street was then on her lunch break when she was monitoring the CCTV and reportedly noticed a man fill a bag with biscuits. This was once again seen to be Paterson, who then rode off on a bike without paying, and police were called to the incident at about 1.35pm on 18 July 2021.

Paterson then stole from two shops in quick succession, targeting a pound store in St Mark’s place and the food shop in Lincoln Road. At around 8.40am on 26 July 2021, he was seen taking an amount of detergent from the shelves of the pound store before visiting the food shop and filling a bag with fresh meat, including steak, lamb and bacon, before leaving and once again not paying.

Despite over a month passing, the 35-year-old’s time was up when officers recently took note of a suspected stolen van being driven on the outskirts of Newark and requested it to stop on Gainsborough Drive on Sunday (15 December). It then took off and, following a short pursuit, officers arrested two men, one of them being Paterson.

They also recovered a quantity of what is believed to be mamba.

Paterson, of Chatham Court, Newark appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (18 August) charged with six counts of theft. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was given a community order. He also must pay compensation to the shops.

James Murr, 26, of Queen’s Court, Newark, has been charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop, receiving stolen goods and possession of a class B drug. He also appeared at Nottingham Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and was released on conditional bail pending his next court appearance on 6 January 2022 at Nottingham Crown Court.

Sergeant Rob Harrison of Nottinghamshire Police said: “The brasen way Paterson has gone round and just taken items off the shelves of local shops is, quite frankly, appalling and we will take firm action to bring anyone who behaves in such a way to justice.

“Newark is fantastic for hosting a wide range of independent and larger businesses, and as local officers we understand how important it is for the local community that we respond quickly and efficiently when we hear of businesses being targeted.

“It is people’s livelihoods and careers, and it’s shocking that Paterson thought he could just steal from them, causing stress and financial loss.

“Despite this taking some time, our resources, CCTV technology and intelligence were all able to help us link Paterson to these thefts and bring him to justice. We hope that the fact this has come to court gives people even more confidence that we will rigorously pursue lines of enquiry that we have and use all available resources to resolve incidents like these. We also hope that it serves as a warning to any potential shop thieves – you can’t hide from us for long.”