Alert citizen aids police in catching thief

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Oxford County Ontario Provincial Police responded to a report of a suspicious male in the underground parking at The Tillsonburg Town Centre mall on Dec. 10 around 1 p.m.

Through investigation it was determined that the suspect was observed looking into vehicles and was scared off when an alert citizen set off their car alarm in an attempt to draw attention to the suspicious behavior of the suspect. The citizen then notified police immediately.

Officers arrived on scene and were then notified by a business within the mall that a theft from inside the store had just taken place and the suspect matched that of the suspicious male in the parking lot.

Officers located the suspect and a brief foot pursuit took place. The man was arrested and there were no injuries reported.

33-year-old Wilhelm Thiessen of Bayham has been charged with the following Criminal Code offences: Theft under $5,000 – Shoplifting; Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000; and Escape lawful custody.

The accused was later released with a court date set Jan. 8 at Woodstock Criminal Court.

The Oxford County OPP would like to remind all residents to remove gifts and valuables from vehicles, or keep them out of plain sight to avoid being targeted for future thefts, saying it was a good reminder to the community to “Lock It Or Lose It” especially during the festive season.