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JAILED: Prolific shoplifter's hauls totaled £14.7k

A prolific shoplifter was starting a 14 month jail sentence today after admitting stealing £14,700 worth of goods from stores.


Kelly Hubbard struck 21 times in five months at shops throughout the Black Country and South Staffordshire, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The 36-year-old targeted major outlets, stealing from branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's, Wilkinsons, Boots and TKMaxx within a 15 mile radius stretching from Rugeley, Great Wyrley and Cannock to Willenhall and Wolverhampton.

A car was used on at least three occasions as a getaway vehicle during the one woman crime wave that continued from October to last month, said Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting.

The defendant usually stole make up and cosmetics but also took food and handbags with her largest single haul from a store totalling £2,000.

Hubbard was originally arrested after stealing items worth £410 from a TKMaxx branch on October 20 and was then released on bail pending further inquiries, the court was told.

Then between November 11 and January 12 she stole from at least 14 more shops before being found by police hiding in a cupboard at one of several addresses she used in the Walsall area on January 18.

She was released while CCTV footage from stores was checked for possible clues of further offending. Hubbard was then caught red handed stealing handbags worth a total of £510 from TKMaxx at Bentley Bridge on March 14 and kept in custody until the case came to court.

The defendant of no fixed address had 52 previous convictions involving 124 offences, 70 of which were for shoplifting, disclosed Mr Searle.

She pleaded guilty to 16 thefts from stores between October 20 to March 14 and asked for five further offences to be taken into consideration. The total value of the goods stolen was £14,699.

A manager of one of the shops warned that jobs could be axed if shoplifting continued to hit profits at the current rate, it was said.

Miss Jodie Smith, for Hubbard, said: "She is an entrenched drug user who is now entrenched in the criminal justice system. If she is given a further custodial sentence nothing changes. It would not solve issues in her life and lead to further reoffending."

Judge John Wait jailed Hubbard of no fixed address and told her: "There have been many attempts with court orders intended to help with your drug problems but you have been unable to comply with them. This has meant your unhappiness has continued and you have continued to create a great deal of loss to businesses in the area."

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