Serial shoplifter slapped with Co-op ban after 50 offences in crazed theft spree

A prolific shoplifter has been banned from all her local Co-op stores but has avoided being jailed.

Sarah Brown, of Grangeway Court, has racked up a staggering 50 shoplifting offences over the past four years, with the majority of them committed in Runcorn, Cheshire.

Under the terms of the five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), she is banned from entering any Co-op store in the town, and concealing items at any retail premises in Cheshire.

The 28-year-old was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Crewe Magistrates' Court for her most recent offences.

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She pleaded guilty to nine shoplifting offences committed in Runcorn and Widnes between Saturday May 23 and Tuesday September 1.

Brown also admitted a public order offence in relation to her behaviour at a shop in Runcorn after being questioned about the contents of her bag by the manager.

PC Andy Maskall, of the Halton Problem Solving Team, said Brown was "a persistent offender with a long list of shoplifting convictions and has shown no signs of ceasing her criminal behaviour."

He added: "There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough and take additional action to protect stores from being targeted.

"The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant financial impact on businesses and the last thing that retail premises in Halton need is to continue to be targeted by a prolific shoplifter like Brown.

"She has been made aware that it is an offence to breach the terms of a CBO. The sanctions imposed for doing so can be severe, with the maximum penalty being five years in prison.

"I hope that the CBO has the desired effect and prevents Brown from shoplifting or committing any other offence in Halton or anywhere else."

CBOs are preventative orders with strict restrictions that are imposed in a bid to stop persistent offenders committing further offences.

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They are applied for separately to prosecutions for criminal offences as a last resort.

Anyone who encounters Brown breaching the terms of her CBO over the next five years is asked to contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101 to report it.

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