A prolific shoplifter from Thanet has been jailed for 16 months.

Lena Brown stole from shops in Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate during the course of a few weeks in March and April 2021.

As a result of her actions, she breached her three-year Criminal Behaviour Order which had been in place since 2019, banning her from entering any retail premises across Thanet involved in the Thanet Shop Safe Scheme.

Shortly before 3pm on Saturday 20 March 2021, Brown entered the Savers store in Margate where she grabbed three handfuls of cosmetics. She was challenged by staff and responded by turning out her trouser pockets which were empty. After she had left, CCTV footage confirmed the items had been hidden upon her person.

During the afternoon of Thursday 1 April, she was seen selecting toiletries from the Wilko store at Westwood Cross and concealing them in a bag. Her actions were challenged by a member of the public, resulting in Brown abandoning the stolen items worth £90.

Seven days later Brown returned to the store and stole children’s toys and laundry detergent, concealing them in a bag before walking out. Staff realised what she had done when reviewing the CCTV later.

Then on Saturday 10 April, Brown went to the Co-op in Minster and stole around £80 of goods including lamb steaks, chicken fillets, cheese, juice and laundry pods. Again she concealed them into a shopping bag before walking out of the store. A customer flagged up the theft to staff and the matter was reported to police.

Officers from Thanet’s Victim Based Crime Team identified Brown as the offender and she was arrested and charged for the four thefts and for breaching her Criminal Behaviour Order.

The 32-year-old of no fixed address admitted the offences at court and appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 19 July where she was sentenced to a total of 16 months in prison.

Senior investigating officer, Sergeant Mike Franklin of the Thanet Victim Based Crime Team, said: ‘Criminal Behaviour Orders are given to those who have shown themselves to be persistent in nuisance or criminal behaviour. Each order will include restrictions specifically aimed at stopping that person’s behaviour.

‘Lena Brown has repeatedly stolen from shops throughout Thanet and I am pleased the judge recognised the severity of her breaching the order and imposed a custodial sentence. Theft is never acceptable and I hope the retailers affected by her crimes will be reassured to know she is behind bars.’

By Ed

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