A prolific thief who targeted shops in Sittingbourne to steal multiple boxes of cakes has been jailed on his first appearance at court.

On Friday 7 June 2024, Joseph Clarke entered the Co-op in Murston where he stole 12 boxes of country slices worth £22.80. On the following day he went to the same location and left without paying for a quantity of cherry bakewells valued at £24. Later the same day he stole 12 boxes of macaroons worth £18.

Local beat officers investigated the incidents and, following the examination of CCTV footage at the supermarket, tracked Clarke down in Murston Road on Monday 17 June. He was arrested and charged by investigators from the Swale Victim Based Crime Team with three counts of theft. Clarke, from Sittingbourne was remanded in custody and appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 18 June. The 51-year-old pleaded guilty to all the charges and was immediately imprisoned for 120 days. He will also be required to pay compensation of £64.80 to the Co-op.

Inspector Vanessa Foster, of the Swale Community Safety Unit, said:

‘We will pursue prolific criminals relentlessly in order to protect our local business from their persistent, drug-driven thefts. While the stolen items in this case were not of a particularly high value, daily offences over a prolonged period can have a significant impact on the ability of these local stores to continue trading.

‘Clarke admitted to being a drug user following his arrest and, if he fails to tackle the cause of his criminal activities, our officers will be alert for any further offending on his release from prison.’

By Ed

©2024 Hawkinge Gazette       -       The Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites