kids polo outlet Shoplifter shares the secrets of his success
Shoplifter shares the secrets of his successA shoplifter who is believed to have plundered goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds found himself behind bars after sharing the secrets of his success.12:07, 21 JUN 2010Updated06:08, 12 JAN 2013Get daily updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!
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A shoplifter who is believed to have plundered goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds found himself behind bars after sharing the secrets of his success.
Peter O’Neill had a reputation as one of Manchester’s most effective shoplifters and picked up for revealing his methods to crime prevention bosses from 25 big name stores.
But weeks after telling all, the 31 year old drug addict who is thought to have stolen around of goods in the past four years was arrested in Manchester’s city centre.
O’Neill had spoken to delegates at a meeting of the Retail Loss Prevention Fashion Forum, whose members include Marks and Spencer, Next, House of Fraser, River Island, John Lewis and Harrods.
The conference also attended by security bosses for Mothercare, New Look, Monsoon, Polo Ralph Lauren, TK Maxx, Matalan, Peacocks, Nike and All Saints heard from O’Neill about his actions, motivations and modus operandi for his thefts.
He is understood to have acted with a female accomplice to smuggle hundreds of pounds worth of clothes a time.
He was jailed for eight weeks this month after Manchester Magistrates Court heard he had stolen 11 pairs of ladies’ trousers, worth from Marks and Spencer, and eight T shirts, worth from All Saints.
Police in the city centre have set up a crack team of officers to help drive down shoplifting after being approached by the Fashion Forum, whose retail crime conference was run by consultancy firm, ORIS group.
A spokesman for the Fashion Forum and ORIS said: “He (O’Neill) came to talk to us in Bury and was paid by ORIS who felt it would add value to hear directly from him and climb inside the head of a prolific shoplifter.”
Andrew Wood, MD of Oxfordshire based ORIS group, said the consultancy would have paid the speaker from funds which they hold for the forum.
O’Neill, of no fixed address, is understood to have been to prison once before. He has been caught in the act by police 16 times but is thought to have committed at least three times as many offences.
The Fashion Forum spokesman said O’Neill claimed he was a Gulf War veteran and told them his thefts totalled and fed a drug habit claims police sources say are grossly exaggerated.
Forum members have since met with police in the city and a dedicated team of six officers and a sergeant has been put together to help crackdown on shoplifting and other offences such as anti social behaviour.
They are particularly focussing on the main shopping area, including Market Street, Manchester Arndale and Piccadilly Gardens.
City centre Chief Inspector Chris Hill said he was also working on plans to grant store security staff limited police powers.
Under a scheme called ‘Community Safety Accreditation’, they would be able to hand out fines to petty criminals including those causing a nuisance in stores, drinking or refusing to give their name when caught thieving.
He said: “This is all part of a more concentrated effort to tackle shoplifting. While the new neighbourhood team is not solely looking at shoplifting, this is a major concern in that area and we are already seeing results. Shops are a community in themselves and we recognise this is a priority for them. The team will be working with them and other partners in the city centre to drive shoplifting down.”
Fashion Forum member, Alan Grocott, head of loss prevention for Next, said he was encouraged by the new police team, adding: “We will wait to see the outcome of the pilots of this new neighbourhood scheme and we will be making sure all of our stores in Manchester are co operating to make it work.”