15 February 2011

Police Squad!

Two cases from the files for your review, both today from the UK:


AN HONEST student who handed in a mobile phone he found was stunned when police arrested him for theft.

Paul Leicester, 18, played the Good Samaritan when he discovered the handset lying in the street.

He rang the last number dialled and told a friend of the owner he would leave the phone at a nearby police station. But officers arrested him for “theft by finding”, held him for four hours and took a DNA sample.

Yesterday Paul said: “I thought I was doing the right thing and had it thrown back in my face. I wouldn’t go to the police in future. All I was doing was the honest thing. It was a shocking experience.”

The A-level student at Southport College, Merseyside, had been out celebrating his 18th birthday last month when he found the phone.

Paul added: “Being arrested isn’t a good way to celebrate your birthday. What are you supposed to do when you find a phone?”

Merseyside Police dropped the case...Chief Superintendent Ian Pilling said: “We are reviewing the circumstances of the arrest.”


Woman accused of theft after taking Tesco rubbish

A woman is facing trial for "theft by finding" after she helped herself to food thrown away by Tesco after a power cut.

Dozens of people could not believe their luck after the supermarket giant put bagged up thousands of pounds of spoiled stock and left it out in the street.

Sasha Hall, 21, helped herself to potato waffles, pies and ham from the store in Great Baddow, Essex.

But she was left stunned after police arrived at her home and arrested her or "theft by finding" and took her to the station in handcuffs.

She said: "There was £3,000 worth of food going to waste on the street.

"It had been thrown out, so I thought I could put it to better use. But when the police came round I was so upset. I felt like a terrible criminal."

The shop worker said the supermarket – which has the motto "Every little helps" – should have been pleased that the food would be put to good use.

"Tesco clearly did not want the food. They dumped it and rather than see it go to waste, I thought I could help feed me and my family for a week or two."

Miss Hall, who helped herself to £200 of food, said she had been shocked by the way that the police had dealt with the incident.

She said: "They knocked at the door and said if I didn't open up they would use a battering ram.

"They handcuffed me and treated me like I was a hardened criminal and when we left they raided my house.

"I haven't got lots of money. I only make £600 a month."

A Tesco spokesman said: "We are assisting the police with their inquiries. We seek to minimise waste in all our stores and where possible will seek to reuse and recycle it."



Fr. Andrew said...

DNA sample? For petty theft?

/adds Lew Rockwell to bookmarks

thetimman said...

Glad you caught that. It is a policy desire of many jurisdictions these days to require a DNA sample from every arrested suspect.

Of course, such a power would never be abused. How dare you think so!

Anonymous said...

This Brave New World is a scary place indeed.