A prolific Northumberland shoplifter is beginning a custodial sentence – after being found by police while hiding in a divan bed base.
Thirty-two-year-old Samantha Oliver was wanted by Northumbria Police in relation to nine offences of shoplifting which occurred throughout August at several retailers in the Ashington area.
Over the course of the month, Oliver visited various stores, helping herself to items totalling thousands of pounds – before fleeing the scene with her spoils.
On Saturday (August 9), acting on community intelligence, officers attended an address in the Cheshire Close area of Ashington in search of Oliver, however an initial search of the premises proved negative.
Officers persevered with their searches, subsequently discovering their suspect hiding in a divan bed base.
Oliver was arrested and just hours later she was charged with nine counts of shoplifting, and two counts of attempted shoplifting.
Yesterday (Monday), Oliver appeared before Bedlington Magistrates’ Court, where she was convicted of all 11 offences, and sentenced to 48 weeks in custody.
She was also ordered to pay compensation to those affected by her crimes.
Following Oliver’s sentencing, Inspector Nick Went, of Northumbria Police’s Harm Reduction Team, said: “This is a fantastic result for our communities and sees a persistent and repeat offender sent to prison.
“This is one example of what can be achieved through swift and efficient police work, and I am very grateful to our Criminal Justice colleagues that have supported us with the quick imposition of a custodial sentence.
“A big thanks to the officers involved who trusted their instincts which told them that Oliver was still inside the address, meaning that they continued their search.”
Insp Went continued: “Oliver is a repeat thief who has continued to offend without remorse, or even an attempt to change her behaviour.
“Her crime sprees do nothing except leave hard-working businesses out of pocket and I am pleased she has been imprisoned so she can no longer cause disorder amongst the local community.
“As a Force we will continue to tackle this type of criminality by pursuing offenders who believe they are entitled to take what isn’t theirs.”
Anyone who wishes to report a crime or share any concerns can contact officers by calling 101. You can also report online at the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of the Northumbria Police website.
If you want to report information anonymously you can do so by calling independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.