News

Prolific shoplifter banned from his favourite stores

13 Sep 2018 15:00 PM

Arif, Shazad [View Full Size]

A prolific shoplifter has been banned from his favourite stores after being convicted of stealing meat and beer in Gateshead.

Shazid Arif, 35, has been convicted of shoplifting in Blaydon and Winlaton after a spate of thefts in March and April this year.

A court was told how he targeted the Co-op store in Winlaton three times and the BM Bargains store in Blaydon five times to steal raw meat, crates of lager and jars of coffee.

Arif, of Braeside, Dunston, was eventually arrested in July after being identified as the person responsible for up to eight offences at the two shops.

He appeared at magistrates court late last month where he admitted five charges. A further three thefts were taken into consideration by magistrates. 

Now Arif has been handed a community order that bans him from BM Bargains and the Co-operative stores in Gateshead for the next six months - meaning he faces prison if he steals from the stores again.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ronnie Lowes, who covers the Gateshead West area, said the case showed that prolific offenders will be dealt with robustly by police.

He said: "Shazid Arif is a prolific offender who has targeted shops in his own community with no intention of paying for goods.

"Shoplifting is being dealt with more and more by security at the shops themselves but this case shows that we will still take robust action when appropriate.

"The majority of offenders will not be handed immediate prison sentences so it is important that different tactics are considered to curb offending.

"By putting restrictions on Arif we are in a position where we can restrict his behaviour and protect the local businesses from a loss of income.

"If we do find him up to his old tricks then we will not hesitate to arrest him and put him back before the courts where he could face a custodial sentence."

Arif was dealt with at Gateshead Magistrates Court on August 15 where he was also ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and made to pay £569 compensation.

If anyone wants to report suspicious behaviour or criminal activity in their local community then they should call police on 101 or report it online at www.northumbria.police.uk/contact.

'amarasophia.elahi@bbc.co.uk'