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Garden gnome thief appears in Nottingham Magistrates Court

A shoplifter who stole a set of garden gnomes from a store has appeared in court.

Andrew Woolley targeted four different stores in Newark as part of a series of thefts in the space of a couple of weeks.

The first incident saw the thief make his way into Asda, in Lombard Street, at around 10.45pm on 28 June 2023.

He then grabbed a set of garden gnomes from a shelf before fleeing into the night without trying to pay for the items.

Woolley then targeted two Co-op stores in Albert Street and Barnby Gate on 5 July and 6 July respectively.

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Meat products were stolen during both incidents, with the thief also making off with cleaning products from the Barnby Gate store.

He then smuggled bottles of alcohol into a bag in Morrisons, in Kings Road, at around 9.15pm on 17 July, before again walking out without paying.

Woolley’s offences soon came to light when he was brought in by response officers for an unrelated offence and then questioned about the series of thefts.

The 35-year-old was subsequently charged with four counts of theft – something he admitted to during an appearance at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (20 July).

Woolley, of North Gate, Newark, was released on bail and will reappear at the same court for sentencing on 15 August 2023.

PC Lexi Fielding, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Shoplifting can be hugely damaging to businesses and to customers too, as they are ultimately the ones left to pay higher prices as a result.

“These thefts directly impact on people’s livelihoods and can cause real misery for residents.

“That’s why we take these reports so seriously and why the force works closely with our partners and local businesses to prevent shoplifting and to try and help those who do carry out these offences to change their ways.

“We are pleased to see that Woolley has now owned up to his actions.”

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