Selby police are continuing their campaign against criminal gangs operating in local supermarkets.
The thieves do not steal from the stores, but instead target their customers.
Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Team are working with local retailers following the arrest and imprisonment of a 33-year-old Leeds woman.
Petra Stojkova was caught by staff and customers at the Tesco supermarket in Selby on Friday 3 June along with three other people. She appeared at Selby Magistrates’ Court on Monday 6 June when she was given a prison sentence of 12 weeks. The people arrested at the same time were released without charge.
Police Constable Pete McCreedy, of the Selby Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “I would like to thank the public spirited citizens who apprehended the thief and allowed us to bring her to justice.
“Criminal gangs are known to travel long distance to commit this type of offence. They are often very slick in their method of operation distracting shoppers before carrying out thefts in seconds and leaving the store before the victims realise their property has been stolen.
“I urge people never to leave their bags unattended, even for a moment, in trolleys. I would suggest that bags are always carried on the person and, where possible, across the chest with flap towards the body.”
PC McCreedy added: “For more advice on crime prevention you can visit the North Yorkshire Police website or contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.”
If you have any information about people committing this type of offence please contact North Yorkshire Police straight away. Or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.