Police award for work on designer bag thief
9:33am Saturday 7th December 2013 in Gwent news
PROUD: Blaenau Gwent's head of neighbourhood policing and partnerships, chief superintendent Brandon Williams, DC Rhys Potter and local policing unit commander, chief inspector Marc Budden
GWENT police officers, including those involved in catching a serial designer handbag thief, have been honoured for their work in a number of investigations.
Torfaen officers Sgt Scott Thomas, PC Rhodri Parry and financial investigator Garry Trotman were commended at an awards ceremony for their work in bringing to justice a woman who stole more than 900 designer handbags valued at £500,000 over three years.
They were among 45 force officers honoured.
The inquiry began when PC Parry responded to a call that a woman was acting suspiciously in Cwmbran town centre.
He tracked her down and found a handbag hidden in her carrier bag and another four in her car. Sgt Scott Thomas and other officers searched her home, uncovering 56 designer handbags and 904 postal receipts, showing bags had been sent around the UK.
A financial investigation exposed a crime business worth £130,000.
In September, Jayne Rand, 48, of Clardon Lane, Swindon, admitted stealing 905 handbags and four purses at Newport Crown Court and was jailed for 18 months.
Others honoured included Blaenau Gwent officer DC Rhys Potter, who was commended for his work in an investigation relating to offences amounting to £78,000.
Newport officers CSO Jenny Mullis and CSO Samina Hanif were rewarded for apprehending suspected fraudsters targetting ATM machines in Newport, while Monmouthshire’s PC Mark Waters, CSO Matthew Brustad and PC Michael Crean were commended for the prosecution of a cannabis producer and the seizure of drugs valued at £75,000.
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