Shop-lifter caught for 54th offence

A shop-lifter, who racked up 54 offences, was caught stealing in a supermarket wearing a hi-vis jacket.
A shop-lifter, who racked up 54 offences, was caught stealing in a supermarket wearing a hi-vis jacket.
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A shoplifter was caught because he was wearing a hi- vis jacket, a court was told.

Neil Fraser (36) had immediately got the attention of security staff monitoring the cctv at Asda in Colne.

The ex -heroin addict was seen stuffing bags full of meat and washing powder to the tune of almost £90 from a trolley and then leaving through a fire exit.

When staff went round to stop him, Fraser, who was freed from jail just five days before and is on licence, dropped the haul and ran off but he he was soon detained, court heard.

Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told JPs in Burnley: "The cctv is apparently of good quality and he was recognised from the footage.

"He said he had been struggling since he came out of prison, had no money, his house had been trashed and he intended to sell the items." The goods were recovered.

Fraser has now been fined, for his 54th offence.

His solicitor Mr Dylan Bradshaw said the security staff were watching CCTV looking for suspicious people.

He said: "I think wearing a hi- vis jacket immediately got their attention. It was really game over from that point."

The solicitor went on: " He is not unintelligent and not unpleasant when he puts his mind to it. He is now living back with his long-suffering mother."

Mr Bradshaw said Fraser was on methadone and a lot of his problems had been caused by a long-standing addiction to heroin.

He added: "This defendant is not a star client of the probation service although he is trying. He is not drug -free, but he is not using heroin."

The solicitor added:"He is a man who is perhaps a little bit long in the tooth for this. He needs to break that cycle of offending. He just needs to stop going into shops and stealing from them."

Chairman of the Bench, Mrs Janet Pickup, told Fraser: "There was a little bit of planning. It wasn't the best planning."

Fraser, of Deerstone Avenue, Burnley, admitted theft of groceries worth £89.07 on Wednesday, December 27th.

He was fined £80, with a £30 victim surcharge.