South Devon police hunting Romanian 'chewing gum gang'
POLICE are investigating a Romanian 'chewing gum' gang which is believed to have been operating across South Devon.
Two Romanian nationals were arrested this week after thefts of large amounts of chewing gum from supermarkets in Torquay and Dartmouth, police say.
National reports confirm a spate of chewing gum thefts across the country.
It is believed gangs have been stealing gum from shops to take back to Romania, where it is sold to street vendors to be used as currency.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Instead of giving change to customers, vendors in kiosks hand over gum.
It is believed nearly £1,000 worth of gum was taken from the two Sainsbury's stores in Dartmouth and at The Willows.
The gangs operate by going up and down the aisles filling 'Bags for Life' with gum.
On Monday, October 7, at just after 1pm, a large amount of chewing gum was taken at the Sainsbury's superstore in Nelson Road, Dartmouth.
Police believe three males filled two bags with chewing gum and left the store.
Then at shortly before 5pm staff at the Torquay out-of-town Sainsbury's superstore apprehended two men suspected of filling bags with chewing gum.
It is believed a third man many have been waiting near the entrance in a car.
A police spokesman said: "Two men were taken into custody. We are investigating two thefts of chewing gum and whether there is any link.
"We are told that chewing gum is used as currency in Romania."
Two men were due to appear at Torquay magistrates yesterday charged with theft.