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Shoplifter's trick failed

PUBLISHED: 12:20 12 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 March 2010

A BAG lined with tin foil was used by an Ipswich shoplifter to prevent security tags being detected. Homeless Philip Brown took the bag into Sainsburys in Hadleigh Road, and stole a £60 portable CD player.

A BAG lined with tin foil was used by an Ipswich shoplifter to prevent security tags being detected. Homeless Philip Brown took the bag into Sainsburys in Hadleigh Road, and stole a £60 portable CD player.

South East Suffolk Magistrates heard the 43-year-old used the same technique to steal £60 worth of video equipment from HMV, and £104 worth of sweatshirts from All Sports, both in the town centre.

However on each occasion security staff spotted Brown putting the items into his bag and alerted police.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, said: "His bag was lined with foil to avoid security tags being detected."

The court heard that Brown, a former alcohol and drug abuser, had spent time living at the Salvation Army hostel but had recently been "sleeping rough".

He was picked up by police in Christchurch Park where he had been sleeping and was arrested for failing to surrender to bail.

Brown pleaded guilty to theft at Sainsburys and to failing to surrender to bail. He also admitted breaching a community rehabilitation order for the other two shop thefts and to again failing to surrender to bail.

The court heard that Brown, who had a string of previous convictions for dishonesty, also owed the court £140 in fines. Brown was jailed for a total of nine weeks for all the offences and is expected to be released in about five weeks with a "clean slate".

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