News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Friday, 18 July 2008

The Tale of the Disabled Shoplifter

The Evening Post story of disabled shoplifter Christopher Westcott's daring raid on Tesco Homeplan in Hartcliffe is a fine piece of understated crime reporting and deserves to be read.

The humour in the piece (nice use of the word buggy) simmers away nicely through the opening paragraph:

A disabled shoplifter who tried to escape from a Bristol store with a TV on his electric buggy has been jailed for six months.

Christopher Westcott was spotted driving “at speed” from the Tesco Homeplan shop in Hartcliffe and initially congratulated staff for catching him, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Other instances of wheelchair users committing robberies include:
  • In 1996, shop worker Carrie Murray of California was awarded damages of $50,000 when her right thumb and index finger were damaged as a result of inserting her hand into the spokes of a wheelchair being used by a shoplifter
  • A Florida wheelchair user was recently arrested for theft of $200 worth of meat from a Wal-Mart in the Tampa area. Terry Anthony Putz has 27 prior arrests and three convictions for theft.
  • Also in California (Palo Alto) earlier this year, a man held up a bank at the Stanford Shopping Center, brandishing a black handgun while seated in his electric wheelchair. Police are looking for a white male aged about 60 with grey hair and a beard last seen motoring towards a main road nearby. Witnesses say the man's right leg was sticking straight out while he zoomed away.
  • George Clooney features as a disabled criminal in the 2003 comedy Welcome to Collinwood.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

1 comment:

James Barlow said...

This is a bit off-topic. but might be of interest.

(Email to Charlie Bolton, cc'ed to a few other local bloggers)

Hi Charlie,

I've been experimenting with some software to extract and repackage video from the Council webcasts (as the early ones are likely to start going offline soon). The Public-I web-casting service is very handy, but it doesn't offer an easy solution for embeddeding bits of video in a blog post. So I've now got a way to transfer segments of the webcasts into You Tube.

As a test, I used a section from last year's E-Democracy day, which you might recognise:

Bolton on Blogging #1

Bolton on Blogging #2

On a non-partisan note to yourself and the other bloggers copied on this email, if you've spotted something interesting in a council meeting that has been web-cast - or made a contribution you'd like to reference on your blog - send me the details and I can extract the relevant section and bung it on You Tube.

To make things easy, I need the following details:

* The name and date of the web-cast (e.g. Cabinet on X/X/X)
* The description of what you want extracted (e.g. a speech by Councillor Smith; a motion moved by Councillor Jones; a public statement etc.)
* A rough idea of where in the recording it can be found (e.g about 5 minutes in; time codes 10:20-21:50)



Site Meter