A retailer in Erewash has been left frustrated with their local police force following what they described as the “perfect scam” in their store last month. 

A juvenile stole £50- worth of cigarettes and tobacco from the store counter during a card transaction being made by an accompanying adult. 

The retailer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told RN: “An adult came into the store with a juvenile and asked for cigarettes and tobacco.

“During the card transaction, the juvenile with a hood on reached over and took the goods and walked out. The card was then declined.”

The adult pleaded innocence and remained in the shop while the police were called. 

“The police issued us with a crime reference number,” they said. “It was uncomfortable having an adult in the shop who was involved in a crime, but after 49 minutes he took his card and walked out.”

However, local residents gave the retailer the identity of those involved as they had carried out the same crime in three other stores. 

“We complained to the police and explained they had to come out because we had their names, witnesses and CCTV footage,” they added. 

The police sent a letter explaining that the adult concerned in the incident claimed to be innocent. 

“His friend admitted to the crime, but the police were unable to do anything because he was a juvenile, in the company of an adult,” noted the retailer. 

“Shopkeepers need to keep goods away from customers until the credit card sale is complete. This was organised crime.”

Derbyshire Police told RN:

A 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were interviewed in relation to this incident.

“The 16-year-old admitted the offence and has been dealt with by way of the DIVERT scheme. This scheme is delivered by the Youth Offending Team and includes intervention work around crime, consequences and victim awareness.

“No further action was taken in respect of the 19-year-old man.

“We work closely with shopkeepers and businesses across the county and, where possible and proportionate, will bring those responsible to justice.”

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