Stephen Woodall travelled from Leicester to the National Exhibition Centre at Birmingham, as did thousands of others, to enjoy two days at the Vaper Expo. Woodall ran a Facebook group bearing his name that had 1500 members. He proudly wore a hoodie bearing his name and that of the group he ran.
Unfortunately, unlike everybody else attending, Stephen didn’t think he should have to pay the £120 for the two Rev Phantom kits, nor did he consider that the leading events venue in the United Kingdom might have CCTV and plain-clothes security personnel.
Security at the NEC is obviously a high priority and it was foolish for Woodall to think he could hide in the crowds. West Midlands Police and Counter Terrorist Security Advisors work in partnership with the NEC. They deploy a number of overt and covert security measures including:
- State of the art CCTV monitoring and communications centres
- Walk Through Metal Detector Security Arches
- Search and screening technology
- A Response and Conflict Management team
- Behavioural Detection team
- Dedicated Security Dog team
- An onsite West Midlands Police team
- Vehicle check points
In addition, the NEC uses “highly-visible resources to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, providing reassurance to our customers, so please don’t be surprised if in and around our venues you see both uniformed and plain-clothed officers.”
Woodall’s actions quickly came to light after he made off with the kits. Evolution Vaping had no trouble tracking him down and contacted him immediately.
In a conversation between the vendor and Woodall, seen by Planet of the Vapes:
Vendor: “Stephen. You took two mods from our booth. You really shouldn’t advertise your Facebook group on your shirt if you are planning to steal.”
Evolution Vaping then offered Woodall the opportunity to return to the booth and pay for the kits on Sunday.
Woodall: “I’ll bring back tomorrow.”
Vendor: “No, you pay for the two kits tomorrow, I don’t want them back.”
Woodall: “I’ll only have £40 left for tomorrow. That’s all I’ve got left.”
Vendor: “Fine. Bring £40 for the cheek and the kits back.”
The owner of the leading UK online and B&M vape chain then wrote on Allwood Vapes UK: “Stephen Woodall just returned the two mods he stole yesterday. The little tramp. Anyone who supports or sponsors the little cretin should really reconsider. He goes around [the] Expo stealing from stands with his name and [Facebook] group written on his clothes. What an absolute moron.”
Woodall responded by announcing to his Facebook group: “It was a moment of madness and very stupid of me feeling like and idiot I'm closing the group not only let my self down but also everyone else. Thanks and good bye.”
But was this just “a moment of madness”?
Another leading name in the vape world spoke to Planet of the Vapes. The manager told us how, at a previous event for vapers, a person matching Woodall’s description entered their area with a friend while the employees were setting up the stall. Both of the people were known by name to the vendor and staff.
Tester devices had been filled and placed out on display. The event hadn’t officially begun so the general public weren’t being attended to.
POTV was told: “We were busy getting the show ready, so whilst we carry on doing our thing. They vanished, only we didn't notice. Set dressing was done and one last walk through. We were missing two testers. We asked the other vendors and nobody else other than those two had been in.”
Various vendors scoured the small site looking for the pair but they had vanished.
As news of Woodall’s theft from Evolution Vaping came to light, a number of female group members also raised concerns over his predatory behaviour. They began posting screenshots of personal messages where the married Woodall had been contacting them making suggestive remarks about breasts, cleavages and whether one woman wanted “help in the bedroom”.
One group member wrote: “Noticed quite a few females mentioning strange, suggestive/creepy messages he’s sent them. Just checked to see if he ever sent me any and sure enough! Absolutely disgusting creature. Someone tell his wife about all the messages he’s sending to women young enough to be his daughters.”
Woodall has been removed from Facebook’s Allwood Vapes UK group and the name has been changed to The Phoenix Vapers. Woodall’s posts, and those about him, have all been deleted.
Planet of the Vapes has contacted Stephen Woodall asking him to explain his obnoxious behaviour and respond to the suggestions that this isn’t a one-off incident. Woodall has not responded at the time of writing.