Ipswich dad went on shoplifting spree after losing warehouse job

Ben Forbes was jailed for a total of 20 weeks following a string of shop thefts  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Ben Forbes was jailed for a total of 20 weeks following a string of shop thefts Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A prolific shoplifter has been jailed for a ‘flurry’ of thefts from convenience stores – stealing £650 of produce in less than a fortnight.

Ben Forbes carried out a string of "unsophisticated" thefts - mainly from the Co-op - in a 12-day spell.

On three occasions, the 27-year-old neglected to even conceal the items and walked away with a shopping basket loaded with meat, alcohol and washing detergent.

Forbes, of Leighton Road, Ipswich, appeared before magistrates in custody on Monday after being chased down by a Co-op employee in Nacton Road on Friday, November 15.

The father-of-three admitted 11 thefts and one count of assaulting a member of staff who tried to prevent him stealing from the One Stop store in Reynolds Road.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Forbes began the shoplifting spree on November 3 by stealing wine from a branch of the Co-op.

He waited six days before stealing a basket of detergent from the Co-op, as well as alcohol and cleaning products from the One Stop store, where he shoulder-barged past a shop assistant on November 9.

Forbes went on to commit six thefts in five days before being restrained until the arrival of police at the Co-op last Friday.

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He also admitted breaching a community sentence by failing to attend a probation appointment.

Mr Ablett said: "There was nothing sophisticated about his actions. He went in, selected items and left.

"He was easily identified on CCTV by staff."

Forbes had been released on licence from a 16-month jail term, imposed last June, for burglary, criminal damage and breaching a suspended sentence.

Last March, he was ordered to carry out unpaid work for breaking into Tesco, in Nacton Road, with intent to steal alcohol.

Claire Lockwood, mitigating, said the "flurry of thefts" came after Forbes abruptly lost his warehouse job.

She said his reluctance to claim benefits had led to him stealing items to feed himself and fund an intermittent drug habit.

The court heard Forbes had engaged with substance misuse services while in custody and had a paving job lined up next month.

Magistrates jailed him for 20 weeks, including 12 weeks in lieu of more than £3,000 in unpaid court fines. He was also ordered to pay £613.13 for unrecovered items from his latest spate of thefts.

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