Shoplift suspect who coughed at staff and claimed “I’ve got Coronavirus” is charged by police

West Midlands Police has charged a man with assault following claims he spat and coughed at shop staff while shouting “I’ve got coronavirus”.

Officers were called to the B&M store on Stechford Retail Park at 3.45pm yesterday (25/03) after reports a suspected shoplifter had been detained in the car park.

Mehdi Razmdideh from Saltley is accused of stealing two beard trimmers and then deliberately coughing in the faces of security staff.

B&M at Stechford Retail park

It’s also alleged the 35-year-old – who was assessed by a nurse and deemed not to be infected with COVID-19 – threw stones at store staff during the incident.

Officers arrested Razmdideh at the scene and later charged him with shoplifting and assault; he’s due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (26/03).

Detective Inspector Mark Longden, said: “Retail staff are being asked to work and support our communities during this extraordinary time. We are committed to supporting essential workers and anyone suspected of jeopardising their safety will be dealt with robustly.”