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A 21-year-old shoplifter has been banned from a Lakeside store for two years and from riding a bike or having one with him in the shopping centre and surrounding car parks and leisure facilities.
Callum Watt, of Godman Road, Grays, was also jailed for a total of 14 weeks and ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge when he appeared before Colchester magistrates on 13 March 2023.
He had admitted six thefts from shops between 15 September 2022 and 23 February 2023, four of them from the House of Fraser store and two from BP Orsett South. He also admitted one charge of fraud by false representation.
The court heard that Watt had stolen numerous designer jackets and T-shirts from House of Fraser. He would leave his bicycle near the store entrance, grab designer clothes from a rail and then cycle away.
On 19 February he stole various items from a Mercedes A180, including a bank card which he then used at BP Orsett South.
Four days later, at around 5.35am, he stole four cans of lager from BP Orsett South and went back that afternoon to do exactly the same. Officers arrested him in Romford later that evening.
Magistrates were told Watt was stealing to fund his drug habit and had been convicted three times in the past six months for shoplifting.
PC Glen Foote, of our Business Crime Team, worked with Lakeside Community Policing Team to secure this latest conviction. He said after the hearing:
“Watt being issued with a criminal behaviour order is great news for the staff and customers at Lakeside.
“Criminal behaviour orders are designed to tackle serious and persistent anti-social offenders and there are serious penalties for breaching them.
“We won’t hesitate to seek such orders to protect businesses, their staff and their customers from repeat offenders.
“And, as with this case, where Watt has been banned from riding or being with a bike in and around Lakeside shopping centre, we can ask the court to tailor the CBO’s prohibitions according to a criminal’s offending behaviour.”
The two-year criminal behaviour order forbids Watt from entering the House of Fraser store in Lakeside shopping centre and from riding or having with him a bicycle while in Lakeside shopping centre, its car parks or the surrounding leisure facilities.
Our Business Crime Team specialises in supporting businesses, working to build relationships with independent shops and retail chains, explaining how they can report crime to us and, just as importantly, what will happen when they do.
They help to identify risks in the workplace, providing crime prevention, fraud and cyber-crime advice and strengthening links with businesses and partners, including local community safety partnerships, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Essex Federation of Small Businesses.
Working with the National Business Crime Centre, the team share nationally-identified crime trends and best practice with our business community. And they have also developed a comprehensive guide to business crime prevention which identifies steps business-owners can take to protect themselves and their properties.