Police have revelaed that a 70-year-old man was arrested for looting a supermarket during the recent riots in the United Kingdom.

The unnamed pensioner – the oldest person to be held so far – admitted being part of a group of 200 looters who raided shops and attacked police as London resembled a warzone after nights of antisocial behaviour by pockets of oppportunistic citizens.

Scotland Yard said the senior thief escaped with just a caution after admitting stealing from a Sainsbury’s.

A spokeswoman said: “He is the oldest person arrested so far in connection with the violence in London. He admitted theft and was cautioned. We will not reveal his identity. This man was deeply ashamed of himself and it was decided it wasn’t in the public interest to lock him up.”

The oldest person prosecuted in the wake of the riots is John Maughan, 63, from Camden, North London. He is accused of handling stolen goods and was remanded last week by Westminster magistrates.

Police believe there were up to 30,000 rioters on the streets of London. They recorded more than 3,000 offences, including 1,101 of burglary in non-residential buildings.

Next weekend’s Notting Hill Carnival will be the most heavily policed in the event’s history, with the Met planning 20,000 shifts split over the two days, double the amount on duty for April’s Royal Wedding.