MILK thieves who have been on a six week stealing spree have been blasted for targeting the elderly and vulnerable.

Over the past month-and-a-half Dorset Police say there has been a significant number of milk thefts on Portland including the Tophill and Wakeham area.

Officers from Portland’s Safer Neighbourhood Team have branded the culprits ‘mean’ and said the victims of the crime are often vulnerable or elderly and rely on the milk deliveries as they may not be able to get to the shops easily.

Police are anxious to identify the offenders and are calling on the community to be vigilant and help them catch the thieves.

The latest theft saw 13 pints swiped from outside a premises on Wide Street on Portland at around 4am on Tuesday morning, and police believe the thieves may be following the deliveries around as the thefts tend to be in the early morning.

PCSO Lynne Huckins from the Portland team said the thefts had been going on throughout August.

She said: “The majority of thefts are from elderly and vulnerable people. It’s the people that really need their deliveries.

“The theft of milk from doorsteps or milk floats is an incredibly frustrating crime, not just for the residents who miss out on their pint - the dairy faces significant losses.

“Milk delivery in the UK has been around a long time and benefits many residents who are vulnerable and not able to easily get to the shop. If dairies find that delivery is no longer viable it is these members of society who will be most affected. Help us stop this particularly mean crime.”

She added a message to the milk thieves, saying: “Realise who you are hurting. They might not think about it. To them it’s a pint of milk. To these people it’s, ‘how will I get someone to go to the shops and replace it?’”

Anyone with information about the milk thefts should call Dorset Police on 101 and ask for the Portland Safer Neighbourhood Team quoting crime number 36290, or residents can call Crimestoppers in confidence on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.