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Christmas ‘Grinch’ detained after parcel theft drama at weekly’s new office

A Christmas “Grinch” has been apprehended by the police after a van containing hundreds of parcels was stolen from outside a weekly newspaper’s new office.

Salisbury Journal journalists were busy setting up their new Milford Street office on Wednesday afternoon when the incident unfolded just yards away.

A DPD van containing the parcels was taken from outside the office while the delivery driver was leaving a package, intended for another address on Milford Street, with the Journal’s staff.

Soon after, courier company DPD used the vehicle’s tracking device to determine that it was travelling north on the A36 at approximately 54 miles per hour.

The Journal's new Milford Street office, where the incident happened

The Journal’s new Milford Street office, where the incident happened

After a police pursuit, the van’s new driver was detained following a low-impact collision in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, in Somerset, some 41 miles from Salisbury.

In a tongue-in-cheek statement referencing classic Dr Seuss children’s book ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ Wiltshire Police said the alleged thief, who they said was “reported to have a heart two sizes too small”, was apprehended following a short foot chase.

The force added: “It was suspected that the driver, aged 18 from the Salisbury area, was heading to the mountain just North of Whoville with the intention of throwing the presents into the abyss, although this part has not yet been confirmed.

“This was some excellent communication between the delivery company and the Warminster response officers.

“The delivery van has been recovered and although there will be a delay in the delivery of items, it does appear that the tenacity and passion to catch the offender and ‘save Christmas’ for many who were expecting parcels was outstanding.”

The Journal moved into its new office this week, having announced earlier this month it had taken a five-year lease at the city centre property.

Editor Kimberley Barber told HTFP: “The team has been settling into our new offices in Salisbury this week, and in between unpacking boxes and getting the desk set up, this rather dramatic incident happens right on our doorstep.

“We all really felt for the delivery driver, such a rotten thing to happen to him, especially as he was clearly working very hard.”