eCops – Hammer-Wielding Thief Identified After Media Appeal

Thanks to help from members of the public, we identified and convicted a hammier-wielding thief who stole from a convenience store in Earith.

Rodney Loveridge, of Hermitage Lane in Greenfield, Bedford, targeted Bridge End Stores on the evening of 8 August last year.

The 39-year-old visited the small convenience store, which is also a post office, at 8.41pm, Cambridge Crown Court heard. 

At the time there was only one member of staff working.

Loveridge approached the store counter with a small hammer in his right hand. He began waving the hammer at the shop worker, who had already noticed the hammer in his hand but was behind the counter.

He told the worker he wanted some cigarettes but instead of getting them, she went into the staff office behind a stronger security door.

The woman stayed in the back office and attempted to call for help, but then saw Loveridge approach the door to the counter where the alcohol was displayed.

Believing he would try to come through the security door where she was, the woman grabbed a bat to defend herself with and came back into the shop.

Loveridge attempted to grab alcohol from behind the till, but the woman shouted at him and urged him to stop.

He ignored her and continued picking up bottles of alcohol, but the woman hit Loveridge on the arm with the bat in a bid to get him to leave the store.

Shortly after this Loveridge left the shop holding several small bottles of alcohol. The woman followed a short while later to see where he had gone, and spotted Loveridge getting into the back of a white car.

CCTV of the incident was obtained from the store and Loveridge was identified after officers released the images of him as part of a media appeal. 

In police interview Loveridge said he didn’t remember committing the offence as he had been drinking whiskey, but admitted it was him in the footage. 

He told officers he stole the drink from the store because he was an alcoholic.

Loveridge said 10 minutes before going into the store he had been hitchhiking from his house and had got lifts from ‘various drivers’ before ending up in Earith.

He told officers he didn’t remember owning a hammer and must have got a lift away from the store by a stranger.

Loveridge said he felt ‘terrible’ about his actions and admitted he wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been drinking.

He previously pleaded guilty to theft at Cambridge Crown Court. At the same court yesterday (Wednesday, 30 January) he also pleaded guilty to affray.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and handed 80 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. 

DC Jennifer Park, who investigated, said: “Despite drinking beforehand, Loveridge thought nothing of going into the shop armed, terrifying a staff member in the process, and stealing the bottles of alcohol. 

“The shop worker involved in this incident should be publically thanked for her bravery which eventually led to Loveridge leaving the store.

“Loveridge was identified after a CCTV media appeal and we’d like to thank the members of the public who helped us identify him and secure this conviction.”

Compost Fire Update 31st Jan

Thursday January 24

Staff at Envar Composting continue to work with and be advised by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency to tackle the ongoing fire. Until this week the fire has been managed and controlled in line with the site fire plan using the available space available. The pile of compost that is burning covers a large area and the size of the site has meant there isn’t enough space to safely manoeuvre the stacks.

On Tuesday work began to offensively tackle the fire, which involves digging small piles out of the stacks using heavy machinery and covering it in water, then moving it to a safe area. This is now possible as there is enough space to move the safe compost away from the fire. Although we all hope to have the fire extinguished as quickly as possible, this isn’t a fast process. The current estimate from the site is around 10-15 days based on current conditions, however all attempts are being made to extinguish this as quickly as is possible. Fire crews will be making regular visits to the site.

We are all aware that this is not an ideal situation. The smoke and the odour are unpleasant for all the residents that have been impacted. The weather conditions have also not helped the situation as staff cannot operate heavy machinery safely when smoke and steam is limiting visibility.

While efforts are made to extinguish the fire, smoke and steam will still be generated from the site and may impact the surrounding area. Please be aware of this and take the necessary precautions of keeping doors and windows closed as required to reduce the impact. Those with any health concerns should discuss the concerns with their local GP, or use the NHS non-emergency number 111.

Environment Agency staff will continue working with the site operator to understand the circumstances of the fire, assessing compliance with the environmental waste permit.

For more detailed and updated information, please follow the link below

eCops – Weekly Policing Update – Somersham District

Here is our weekly summary of offences and incidents affecting your community, reported to police during the period 18th to 25th January:

East Street, Colne – Police received a report of a break-in and burglary at a house on East Street, Colne, on Monday 21st January. Intruders appear to have entered the house by forcing the doors to a conservatory, but no further information is available at the moment. (Ref CC-21012019-0177)

St Ives Road, Woodhurst – Police are investigating the theft of a cocker spaniel dog from its kennel at an address on St Ives Road, Woodhurst, that happened in the early hours of Wednesday 23rd January. The thieves broke off padlocks on gates into the site then cut away the chain securing the chocolate-brown female spaniel to its kennel. At the moment no-one has reported noticing anything suspicious in the area at the time. (Ref 35/5305/19)

Chatteris Road, Somersham – A police patrol was dispatched to search along Chatteris Road, Somersham, on Wednesday afternoon, 23rd January, following a report of men and dogs in one or two off-road vehicles seen hare-coursing on fields in the area. A suspicious vehicle was spotted driving from Pidley towards Huntingdon, but no other likely vehicles were found. (Ref CC-23012019-0197)

To see details of Policing Summaries for neighbouring areas, please click on the following link and scroll down the page to select areas of interest:

Please be aware that these reports do not contain all details of all reported crime. We do not publish details of domestic related offences or anything which may put a person at risk if information regarding the crime was made public.

As always, if you have information relating to any offence, or are concerned about any suspicious activities, please contact police by using any of these methods:

  • the ‘101’ non-emergency telephone number;
  • the on-line web-chat tool on the new Cambridgeshire Constabulary web-site – click on the green icon;
  • Alternatively, you can use ‘Crimestoppers’ to make a report anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or by using their on-line contact form.

In an emergency, or if you witness a crime in progress, always use ‘999’.

B1050 Road Closure for Carriageway Patching. 29th Jan – 1st Feb

Road Closure for Carriageway Patching.

We will be closing a section of the B1050 Chatteris Road, Somersham, West of Long Drove to Holwood Nursery, to carry out carriageway works, on 29th Jan – 1 Feb 2019, between 09:30 & 15:30.

The section of road will be closed to through traffic and there will be a signed diversion route set out Via Earith and Sutton. Access to properties and businesses, within the closure, will be maintained throughout the works, but due to the nature of the work, we may ask you or your visitors to wait, while we make the area safe for you to pass.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation.