A PROLIFIC shoplifter stole more than £1,600 worth of items after repeatedly targeting BP stores in Rayleigh and Southend.
In December, Christopher Burke, 39, of Whitegate Road, Southend, raided the BP sops 17 times in 13 days, stealing a total of £1,615.
Burke was arrested and admitted the offences before magistrates on December 21. He has also shoplifted regularly before this spree in December.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Since August, Burke has been specifically targeting BP stores in the Rayleigh and Southend area.
“In October he was arrested in Rayleigh and admitted to 35 offences of theft from shop. He was given a fine and a rehabilitation activity requirement and a Criminal Behavioural Order (CBO) to not enter any BP stores in the county of Essex
“In November Burke was arrested in Southend for five thefts from BH shops from and the breaches of CBO and given a fine and a conditional discharge.”
A September theft saw Burke arrested at around 6.40am by two Southend officers, after he filled a shopping bag with chocolate and tea and walked out without paying.
After his arrest, shop staff told investigating officers from Southend Town Centre Team (TCT) Burke had stolen energy drinks and more chocolate on 11, 13 and 15 September as well.
Further investigations showed that Burke had also previously stolen items from The Range in Short Street, Southend, on September 11.
On that occasion, a security officer had recovered the goods and Burke had been banned from the store.
PC Alex Plakhtienko, of Essex Police’s Business Crime Team worked with the Southend TCT. He said: “Burke’s abuse towards shop staff has had a serious impact on them and the customers in the stores he has targeted.
“We want retail staff to feel safe in their working environment and so we use Criminal Behaviour Orders as a means of achieving this.”
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