Holt businessman hit by “serial shoplifters” praises police response

Michael Baker, MD of Bakers and Larners in Holt.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Michael Baker, MD of Bakers and Larners in Holt.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

One of North Norfolk's longest standing businessmen has spoken out in praise of the police after his near 250-year-old department store was targeted by shoplifters.

On December 21 and 29, a pair in their 60s entered the store and first stole two perfume testers, and then came back and attempted to steal a bottle of Chanel Bleu aftershave at the price of £87.

Both were arrested by the police and searched.

Michael Baker, MD of Holt's Bakers and Larners said: 'We haven't been running a family business successfully for 248 years by letting people steal what belongs to us.'

The businessman wrote to the EDP praising the actions of the police, who worked with staff and security at the department store to quickly apprehend the thieves when they were spotted re-entering the store.

Mr Baker, who lives near Holt, continued: 'I think they target us because we have a lot of high quality items, which they want but don't want to pay for. For some people shoplifting is their employment, they either steal to order or steal to resell on eBay.'

Mr Baker explained: 'One of our youngest members of staff actually spotted these particular shoplifters putting things in their bag, and that employees' vigilance resulted in them being apprehended and found with stolen goods.'

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Mr Baker added that shoplifting was an on going concern in north Norfolk:

He said 'We have enough shoplifting to justify employing multiple security guards, as well as having a CCTV system.

'After the person has been caught shoplifting we ban them from all of our stores.'

Bakers and Larners also own Budgens of Holt and Budgens of Aylsham.

Mr Baker said: 'We've always had a very good relationship with the police, and our CCTV and security helps them not only within our store but with other crime issues around the town.'

A 65-year-old man from Clacton-on-Sea has been charged with theft and is due to appear before Norwich Magistrates on Friday, January 19 for his first hearing.

A woman in her 60s from Cromer was released without charge.