Attempted £1,100 chewing gum heist: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ says policeman

PUBLISHED: 06:00 31 May 2013

Police want to speak to this man in relation to the attempted theft.

Police want to speak to this man in relation to the attempted theft.


WOULD-BE thieves were stopped from escaping with more than £1,000 worth of chewing gum from a Welwyn Garden City store.

The duo loaded a shopping trolley with 647 packs of Wrigley’s gum in Welwyn Garden City’s Sainsbury’s store and tried to walk out, but a security guard stopped the unusual heist.

WGC neighbourhood sergeant Malcolm Dey said he had “never seen anything like it”.

One of the men attempted to distract the guard while the other escaped with the goods – but the bid failed.

The guard made sure they did not get away with the trolley, and the pair, described as Eastern European, ran off.

Police have however released CCTV images of two men officers want to talk to.

The trolley had £1,178 worth of goods in it, with multi-packs of chewing gum accounting for £1,139 of the haul.

Sgt Dey told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s a rare offence for people to attempt to steal chewing gum of this quantity. If anyone has any information I would ask them to come forward to the police.

“We have not got any information [on what they wanted to do with it], I don’t know if it is being sent abroad or it is being distributed locally.

“If anyone has any idea why this offence happened I would ask them to come forward. This is the first one of this scale we have had in Welwyn Garden City.”

The failed thieves are described as both being roughly 5ft 10in and of a medium build.

Anyone with information can call Herts Police on the non-emergency number, 101, quoting reference number B1/13/1243.

The incident happened at around 12.25pm on Wednesday last week.

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