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Suspected shoplifter caught out by street cleaner

Suspected shoplifter caught out by street cleaner

Birmingham street cleaner Sean Wright has helped police catch a suspected shoplifter on New Year’s Eve.

Sean, employed by Westside Business Improvement District (BID), noticed a man parking a car and acting suspiciously on the corner of Granville Street and Broad Street just after 8:15AM on Monday 31 December 2018.

Minutes later, Sean witnessed the same man running out of Sainsburys Local supermarket at 10 Brindley Place carrying what was thought to have been boxes of chocolates, chased by staff who suspected him of shoplifting.

Although the suspect disappeared, Sean was able to tell shop staff and police where the man’s car was parked, and when the man returned to his car shortly afterwards, he was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.

Sean, a 41-year-old father of five from West Bromwich, said: “The man had changed his clothes, but I recognised him straight away and was able to alert the police who arrested him.”

When asked about his public-spirited action, Sean added: “Most people only see you as a cleaner, but while I might be sweeping streets I also keep my eyes open and know what’s going on. I keep observant because I think it’s important that anyone who works for Westside BID is prepared to protect the public and its members.”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said a 37-year-old man had been arrested, charged with theft from a shop and bailed to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 28 January 2019.

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