Appeal after criminal damage in Stone
Main article content
Officers are appealing for information after a series of criminal damage incidents were reported across Stone.
Police were first called at 2.35am on Friday 25 June to the Morrisons store on Mill Street following reports of nine windows being smashed.
Officers attended and found significant damage to the 15ft-high windows, valued at approximately £20,000.
It is believed an automatic-type catapult or air rifle was used and ball-bearings were recovered from the scene.
Police were called again at 7am on Sunday 27 June to Stone Leisure Centre where a total of 25 windows were damaged.
Officers were called a short time later at around 8am on 27 June to the nearby Marks and Spencer store where about 15 panels had been damaged.
It is believed that the damage to the leisure centre and M&S took place between 3am and 3.15am on 27 June.
Officers are currently reviewing CCTV footage of the area at the time and ball bearings from the scenes are being forensically examined.
Chief Inspector Giles Parsons, of the Stafford Borough Neighbourhood Policing Team in Stone, said: “We are treating these incidents extremely seriously.
“I am particularly concerned about someone firing ball bearings, causing significant damage to property and the potential that these have to possibly cause someone serious injury.
“I also recognise the impact these incidents are having on businesses.
“Officers would therefore like to speak to anyone who was out in Stone town centre in the early hours last Friday (25 June) or Sunday (27 June).
“We are particularly keen to hear from two women who were walking across the bridge on Stafford Road adjacent to the Canoe Club at approximately 3am on Sunday who we believe may have encountered the individuals we suspect as being involved.”
Any friends or relatives of anyone who has an interest in, or owns a catapult or other device capable of causing this type of damage, are also urged to contact police.
“I would like to reassure the local community that we are thoroughly investigating these matters to try and catch the persons responsible and will be further increasing our presence in the area,” Chief Inspector Parsons added.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101, quoting incident number 050 of 25 June.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.