Serial shoplifter assaulted undercover detective in The Range store in Hartlepool
A serial shoplifter from Hartlepool had to be restrained by a soldier after the thief assaulted an undercover store detective.
David Peterson, 50, was challenged by security worker Peter Foxton outside The Range on Hartlepool’s Tees Bay Retail Park after observing Peterson inside putting DIY goods into two carrier bags and walk out without paying.
Mr Foxton was punched in the face when he tried to restrain Peterson causing a cut under his right eye and to his nose which required hospital treatment.
Mr Foxton said: “He pushed me away and started thrashing out with his arms. I took hold of his arms and the bags dropped to the floor.
“His right arm became free and he punched me to the right side of the face. As I was restraining him a member of staff came and assisted and then a member of the public tapped me on the shoulder and said he was HM Forces Army ‘do you require assistance?’
“He took him off me and restrained him on the floor.”
Peterson, of Brafferton Street, Hartlepool, who has 94 thefts on his record, was found guilty of the theft of £148 worth of DIY products and of assaulting Mr Foxton on August 10 after a trial at Teesside Magistrates Court.
He denied stealing anything claiming he had only looked at locks for a friend.
He claimed Mr Foxton grabbed him by the throat outside and also claimed the security officer had threatened him in the car park earlier that day.
The bench rejected Peterson’s claims.
Sentencing was adjourned until Thursday, October 10.