Shoplifters sent Valentine's cards from Durham Police

Valentine card Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Offenders will also be targeted at Christmas and on their birthdays, a force spokesman said

Potential shoplifters area are being sent Valentine's cards from Durham Police.

The messages of love advise recipients in the Bishop Auckland to spend the day with "your loved one, not us".

The force said the cards would be hand-delivered to the "top 10 offenders" and sent out in the post to others.

Insp Andy Reeves said: "When it's their birthday and in the run-up to Christmas they can expect us to stay in touch as we will be thinking of them."

The crime-prevention move is aimed at reducing thefts from local shops.

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