Prolific Shoplifters Sentenced to Prison for Month-Long Spree at Co-op Stores in Dartford and Swanscombe

Prolific Shoplifters Sentenced to Prison for Month-Long Spree at Co-op Stores in Dartford and Swanscombe

Two prolific shoplifters have been sentenced to 10 months in prison for a month-long spree of thefts at various Co-op stores in Dartford and Swanscombe.

Jamie Hopkins and Adam Roberts, both of whom were previously banned from entering the retail outlets, pleaded guilty to their crimes at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday (May 14).

The court heard that the pair had been subject to criminal behaviour orders in October, prohibiting them from entering several retail outlets, including any Co-op store. However, this did not deter Hopkins from attempting to steal boxes of cigarettes from behind the counter at the Co-op in Talbot Lane, Swanscombe on October 19. He was confronted by a shop worker but managed to escape.

Just three days later, Hopkins and Roberts stole a quantity of meat and laundry products from the same store. Then, on October 27, Roberts stole two bottles of spirits from behind the counter at the Co-op in Oldfield Place, Dartford.

Their crime spree came to an end on October 28 when they were arrested after being spotted by a police officer at the Co-op in Castle Hill, Ebbsfleet.

Both men were charged with one count of theft and three breaches of their criminal behaviour orders by investigators from the North Kent Victim Based Crime Team. Roberts, 36, was also charged with burglary at the Co-op in Oldfield Place, Dartford, while Hopkins, 39, was charged with burglary at the Co-op in Talbot Lane, Swanscombe.

They pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates’ Court on October 30 and were remanded in custody until their sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court this week.

Police Sergeant Dan Horsley expressed his disappointment in the men’s actions, stating that they had “showed complete contempt for the law” by continuing to shoplift despite their court-imposed bans. He also noted that this type of crime not only harms businesses but also impacts the prices for law-abiding customers.

Horsley emphasized the importance of criminal behaviour orders as a chance for offenders to change their ways, and warned that a prison sentence is the likely outcome for those who fail to take this opportunity.

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