Dutch holidaymakers grateful for help
A Dutch couple have thanked Wimbledon police after their stolen mobile phone was retrieved from a suspected shoplifter.
The phone was found on a man after staff at Elys department store in Wimbledon town centre reported him to police as a possible shoplifter.
The man had claimed the new HTC phone had been bought from a shop in Lithuania three weeks before. But when the IMEI number was checked it was found to have been recently reported as stolen from a location in central London.
Sergeant Jeff New made extensive enquiries about the seized phone. He found it belonged to a Dutch couple, Mr and Mrs Peters, who had been visiting London on holiday. They had since returned home to the Netherlands.
He contacted them and explained how he and his team had recovered their phone, which was undamaged. He also offered to arrange it return, courtesy of Merton police.
He said: "Thanks to the original investigating officer in Westminster properly recording the victim's IMEI number on the crime report, we were able to directly trace the rightful owners and ensure the safe return of their phone and SIM card."
Mr and Mrs Peters were pleased to get their mobile phone delivered by post from the UK to their home in Arnhem, having thought it was permanently lost.
Mrs Peters sent a grateful email to police, in which she wrote: "You're saying that you found our HTC phone? That's great!! I really would like to get it back. A very big thank you for the London police!
"There is no way such thing as returning a stolen phone to the owner would ever happen at Dutch police stations."
Acting Inspector Tony Oram, Wimbledon Sector, said: "This couple visited London and had a great holiday, which was somewhat spoilt by the theft of their phone, containing all their personal numbers and information.
"But I'm glad to say Jeff and the Dundonald SNT really looked after them and ensured they got their property back, receiving first class service from the MPS."
December 8, 2011