Persistent thief jailed after threatening shop staff
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A prolific thief who threatened shop staff when confronted has been put behind bars.
Aaron Lancaster, aged 32, targeted a number of stores over a four-month period in the Top Valley, Bestwood and Bulwell areas.
He brazenly swiped items from the shelves in supermarkets, convenience stores and discount retailers before leaving without paying.
Lancaster filled bags, shopping baskets or his pockets with items including meat, cheese and household good before fleeing.
On two occasions, both at the Co-op store in Beckhampton Road, he was threatening to staff who challenged him as he attempted to leave the store.
Lancaster even produced a screwdriver from his pocket and threatened to stab a Co-op member of staff after one incident on 17 August.
Officers have worked closely with the stores involved as part of their investigation and charged him with multiple counts of shoplifting.
Lancaster, of Haswell Road, Bulwell, was jailed for a total of 51 weeks after pleading guilty to 13 shop thefts and two counts of threatening behaviour.
Inspector John Lees, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Lancaster is a prolific shoplifter who has caused serious issues for a number of local stores.
“He has repeatedly walked into shops and made no attempt to hide the fact he was grabbing items from shelves and leaving without paying.
“Making violent threats towards shop staff who are simply trying to do their job by confronting him is completely unacceptable.
“I am pleased the court has given him a custodial sentence and hope this sends a clear message that we take shoplifting and associated crime very seriously. We will pursue offenders and put them before the courts.
“The force works closely with businesses and our partners to ensure the shops which serve our communities are places which people want to visit in order to spend their money.
“We know that a disproportionate number of shop thefts are committed by a relatively small group of persistent offenders like Lancaster and we will continue to target these individuals.
“I’d like to thank the City Operation Reacher team and Priority Crime Team for their diligent work on this investigation.”