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Needle-wielding thief jailed

13 Feb 2020

A prolific thief who plagued Peterborough with a series of thefts was caught and jailed after he threatened to stab someone with an “AIDS infected needle.”

Dane O’Callaghan, 31, was jailed for 22 months at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (7 February).

O’Callaghan, admitted 10 counts of theft over a two-week period in October, after he was spotted on CCTV repeatedly targeting Boots in The Bretton Centre, Peterborough.

Among the stolen items were men’s aftershave, electric toothbrushes and women’s grooming products.

O’Callaghan’s crime spree continued as he repeatedly ransacked newsagents and other shops in the Bretton Centre.

As the illicit behaviour continued, staff members grew wise to his antics and attempted to apprehend O’Callaghan, but he pulled an uncapped needle from his pocket and threatened to stab them, claiming the needle was infected with AIDS.

He managed to break free and fled on foot, but his criminal behaviour caught up with him and he was apprehended once more.

Security staff detained and searched him, finding nine needles and syringes.

In custody, O’Callaghan answered no comment to all questions but later admitted the offences in court.

PC Nik Loizou said: “O’Callaghan showed no regard for the safety of others and caused genuine distress with his threats of violence.

“I would like to commend the quick-thinking actions of the members of the public who stepped in to intervene.”

Know someone who carries a weapon? Please help us tackle serious street based violence and report it to us by calling 101 or visiting www.cambs.police.uk/report Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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