Prolific Doncaster shoplifter jailed after police trace him from blood at scene

A prolific Doncaster shoplifter who clumsily left a trace of blood on a coat after snagging himself on a piece of barbed wire has been tracked down through forensic work and jailed.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Tommy Cowell, 23, of no fixed abode, has committed 22 theft offences this year alone, with his latest city centre shoplifiting spree earning him a six-month stint behind bars.

A wanted appeal was issued to find Cowell after he stole a number of goods from Boyes in Duke Street on the morning of Monday 9 October.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cowell entered the shop with another man before hiding multiple items under his coat. He then left the store via a fire escape without making any attempt to pay for the goods he had stolen.

Persistent shoplifter Tommy Cowell will spend Christmas behind bars.Persistent shoplifter Tommy Cowell will spend Christmas behind bars.
Persistent shoplifter Tommy Cowell will spend Christmas behind bars.

As he made his escape, Cowell ended up injuring himself on barbed wire, leaving his coat at the scene. A blood sample taken from the coat was forensically examined and provided a full match with Cowell.

Just a day later on 10 October, Cowell was shoplifting again - this time in House of Fraser in Baxter Gate. Cowell selected a number of coats in store before hiding behind a pillar, putting on one of the jackets and leaving.

He made no attempt to pay and was captured on CCTV, with a staff member identifying him as a previous and known offender.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cowell was arrested and charged with two theft offences and on Tuesday (31 October) he was jailed for a total of 28 weeks at Doncaster Magistrates' Court.

Doncaster Chief Inspector David Struggles said: "Cowell's offending was persistent and damaging to local businesses and shop workers in the Doncaster area.

"He showed no regard for others and his flagrant offending is emphasised by his record of over 20 theft convictions this year alone.

"Cowell will now spend Christmas behind bars and we are glad that he is now off the streets and unable to raid local shops which hire staff who are just trying to make an honest living and do not deserve to put up with prolific thieves like him."We welcome the sentence given in court and we want to reassure the people of Doncaster that we are continuing to gather more and more intelligence on shoplifters and that this is a crime we will not tolerate in our city."