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Jail for thief who removed his trousers after raiding John Lewis at Futura Park

PUBLISHED: 20:00 17 February 2017

John Lewis at Futura Park, Ipswich, where the thief struck five times

John Lewis at Futura Park, Ipswich, where the thief struck five times

A shoplifter who was able to walk out of Ipswich's John Lewis five times in six weeks with high-value items before being caught has been jailed for 16 months.

Dean Saunders, of Tayberry Place, Ipswich, stole televisions, expensive coffee machines and speakers until finally being arrested on Christmas Eve after removing his trousers in the hope of deceiving police officers looking for him.

His barrister Steven Dyble, told Ipswich Crown Court: “Literally he’s walked in and walked out. It may say something about the lack of security at John Lewis’.”

Saunders, 28, admitted five charges of shoplifting at an earlier hearing.

Jailing him Judge Martyn Levett said:”Whether there is a weakness in the store’s security measures which you spotted and exploited is for someone else to examine.”

The offences occurred at the John Lewis store in Futura Park, Ipswich and involved goods worth more than £3,000. Another man was also involved in two of thefts.

At just after 2pm on November 16 Saunders went to the shop’s audio section and walked out with a boom speaker worth £210.

He did the same thing again at around 1pm on November 18 when he put another £210 speaker under his hoodie before leaving.

On December 2 Saunders and another man carried a large Sage coffee machine priced at £1,595 out of the store.

Saunders returned on December 14 just before 8pm and picked up another coffee machine worth £549.95, and a £100 blender before walking out.

When a worker chased after Saunders he put the items down and said: “I will stab you bruv.”

Saunders went back again at 11.30am on Christmas Eve and stole two televisions.

A member of staff went after them, but was threatened. The men ran off with one carrying the televisions both valued at £369.

Police responded to an urgent call for help and saw Saunders, who had gone into a shop to change his appearance by removing his trousers.

Steven Dyble, for Saunders, said his client was motivated to address his drug problem.

He said there was CCTV at the store and described the thefts as “ham fisted”.

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