31/07/07 – Police arrest suspected flood looter
First printed in the Swindon Advertiser, 31st July 2007.
A MAN suspected of looting flood-damaged items from Peregrine Close in Covingham has been arrested after appearing in the Adver.
Officers from Swindon police arrested the Pinehurst resident early on Saturday morning, questioned him and released him on police bail.
Last Thursday the Swindon Advertiser featured pictures of two men loading furniture into an unmarked white Ford Transit.
It had been piled there under instruction from insurance companies so that the damage to each household could be assessed.
But on Monday residents reported seeing the men load sections of a three-piece leather suite into the van on Monday.
And on Wednesday they were spotted trying to load a fridge into the same van.
Since the story was published several people contacted the Advertiser to identify the men in the photos.
Police spokesman Graham Chivers said: “A man was arrested in the early hours of July 28, interviewed and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
“A second man who was wearing a yellow workman’s jacket and a dark baseball cap has yet to be identified.”
Mr Chivers said the Advertiser story had helped them in arresting the man, but added that a second man pictured has yet to be caught.
He said: “The man was arrested after the Advertiser published the pictures so it can be said that they assisted the police.”
Swindon police are still appealing for witnesses to help them catch the second man.
Anyone who can offer any information is asked to contact PC Pierre Poinen at Swindon police on 0845 408 7000, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
I would like to thank all the residents who contacted the Police and Swindon Advertiser passing on information that has lead to this arrest.
I am sure that like myself, Dale and Phil the residents are now keen to see a prosecution being forthcoming.