News Attack arrests

FIVE men have been arrested after an attack in Maidstone town cen- tre. Two victims reported injuries and were taken to hospital at about 6.30pm on April 30. Kent Police Maidstone tweeted:

“We would like to thank the public for their help, and security throughout the town, especially the CCTV at Fremlin’s Walk and door staff at Ashes Bar.”

A police spokesman added:

"Five men from Chatham, two aged 19, two aged 20 and a 21- year-old, were arrested on suspi- cion of public order offences. All been released under investigation."

Knives action

DOZENS of knives have been taken off the streets in Maidstone. Police have been running Opera- tion Sceptre since late April to pre- vent and detect weapons being carried in public spaces. Detective Superintendent Shaun

White said: "With lockdown re- strictions easing and the weather getting warmer, more people will be visiting our towns, parks and public places, so this week will give us the opportunity to build on existing activity and enforcement.”


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Jewellery stolen after encounter at barbecue

BURGLAR Paul Bruce, who tar- geted a woman's home when he spotted her elsewhere enjoying a barbecue, has been jailed. Homeless scaffolder Bruce gained access by using a set of keys, stole her jewellery and sold it on at a local store.

The thief (32) had previously been in a relationship with a fam- ily member connected to the woman, leading him to enter the home in Shernolds. He went to a barbecue on July

12 last year, and noticed the victim and her partner were also there. A police spokesman said:

"Bruce headed to a bedroom and stole an entire collection of valu- able jewellery. On the following day he visited a Maidstone jew- eller, where he claimed the stolen property was his, and sold several of the items. "In attempts to avoid arousing suspicions of staff, Bruce sold the

remaining items over the space of a few months, revisiting the store a further three times between July 31 and November 16. "The victim discovered the theft in December that year, after find- ing her jewellery box had been emptied, and police were called.

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NEW "She also contacted the jew-

ellery store which confirmed the items had been sold there. The victim was shown an image of the seller, which she recognised as being Bruce.”

Bruce, of no fixed address, was arrested on January 21 and later charged with burglary and four counts of fraud in relation to the selling of stolen items. He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on April 29 he was sentenced to two years and nine months’ imprisonment. Detective Constable Matt Thomas of West Kent CID said: “His actions will undoubtedly have caused a great deal of dis- tress, not only through the loss of the victim’s personal property, but the invasion of their private space and I hope this sentence will at least provide some reas- surance that justice has been served.”

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