A prolific shoplifter has been banned from entering supermarkets across the whole of Kent.
Stephen Ewens, from Edenbridge, has been made subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) preventing him from entering any premises belonging to Waitrose, Aldi, Asda, Co-Op, or Lidl in Kent, as well as Sainsbury’s in Tonbridge and Dartford.
He was originally prohibited from entering stores in his hometown after being repeatedly prosecuted for offences relating to thefts from stores in Edenbridge, between 4 September 2020 and 25 January 2022. After being made subject to a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) to prevent him from returning to the affected businesses, Ewens began offending in neighbouring areas, including Tonbridge and Dartford.
He appeared before Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2023 where he pleaded guilty to two further counts of theft. The 37-year-old was sentenced before the same court on Monday 5 February 2024 to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, and 150 hours’ unpaid work.
An application by the west Kent Strategic Prevention Command also saw his existing CBO being extended to a county-wide ban.
Investigating officer, PC Jules Edwards, said:
‘The effect of shoplifting is not solely felt by the businesses who fall victim to such crimes. The impact presents wider issues for the community, for example, in the rising costs of essential items as shops try to counteract their financial losses.
‘Kent Police takes all reports of shoplifting seriously and actively encourages members of the public to notify us of such offences.
‘We hope that the robust response to Ewen’s offending serves to reassure traders that we are proactively targeting shoplifters across Kent and putting measures in place to protect their livelihoods.’