NEWS

2011-12-19

Cardboard Cop

DETECTIVES are chasing a paper trail after a CARDBOARD CUT-OUT of one of their officers was stolen by cheeky thieves.

The cut-out of a uniformed officer was carted off by pranksters who have never been caught.

Warwickshire Police has suffered GBP12,250 worth of thefts from its vehicles, police stations and offices over the past four years.

The force valued the fake community support officer at GBP150.

New Freedom of Information figures also show a police flag was stolen from one station, while helmets, flat caps, and clothing have also been taken.

In total, there were 23 thefts from the force over the past four years.

Among the high-value items was an GBP8,000 patrol car, which was later recovered. Crooks also rode off on a police bike, valued at GBP800, which has never been found.

Camcorders, sat-nav systems and radios have also been taken from vehicles.

A spokeswoman for Warwickshire Police said: “The security of police property and vehicles is of primary importance and all officers and staff receive strict security guidelines.

“The majority of the stolen property was taken from police vehicles while police officers were engaged in dealing with incidents.

“Anyone suspected of stealing police property should be aware they will face prosecution if they are charged.

“We are pleased to say that more than 50 per cent of the stolen property was subsequently recovered.“

In another bizarre theft from officers, hungry thieves nicked a packet of detectives' digestives from a police station in Leicestershire, while other crooks lifted hair straighteners.

In total Leicestershire Police lost GBP4,384 of property to thefts, including an electronic breathalyser, lead roofing and police jackets and caps.

Staffordshire Police suffered the highest number of crimes, with 46 raids on their premises and vehicles in the past two years, costing them GBP5,567.

Stolen items included handbags, cash and 12 Sat Nav systems.

Car thieves took a particular shine to Staffordshire cop cars, taking wheel trims, lights and even a catalytic converter.

There were five break-ins at West Mercia Police stations over the past three years, with sites at Droitwich, Ellesmere, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcester and Wythall all targeted.

Burglars stole tools, electrical goods, metal, groceries, stationery, toiletries, batons, a radio, and clothing. Almost all of the items were later recovered.