Sussex Police have been working with businesses across the county to take action against those stealing from shops and put measures in place to deter it from happening.

Persistent thief Nigel Holland, 51, was arrested after multiple reports of theft from three different Greggs bakery stores in Brighton city centre. Holland was charged with four thefts and assaulting a  Police Community Support Officer when he was arrested. There were more than 20 further reports of theft which were taken into consideration He was remanded and appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court where he admitted the offences.

Holland was given a suspended prison sentence and 50 hours unpaid community work. He has also been given a Community Protect Notice (CPN) last month which banned him from areas of central Brighton and he has not reported by Greggs stores for any stealing since.

Thirty-seven-year-old Karl Williams, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with stealing five bottles of Jack Daniels whisky worth £162.50 from Asda in Battle Road, St Leonards and groceries and items worth £242.40 from the same store.

He appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday (22 February) and pleaded guilty to the offences. He was jailed for two weeks.

Worthing man Christopher Way, 39, was arrested for shoplifting at Tesco and further arrested for three shoplifting offences at McColls store in Worthing. He was charged with the offences and pleaded not guilty when he appeared at court. His case has been adjourned until April for trial and he is on bail with conditions not to enter the Tesco or McColls stores in Worthing.

Daryl Swan, 32, of no fixed address has been charged with £65 worth of theft from Infinity Foods, North Road, Brighton, and is due to appear at court this month. As a result of his persistent offending, Swan has a CPN issued against him which prohibits him from being in the Brighton city centre town centre for Brighton for which he can be arrested if he breaches it.

While 33-year-old Nathan Boughton was arrested on suspicion of theft at the Asda store in Brighton Marina, where he stole £126 worth of champagne and detained for stealing £324 worth of alcohol from the other Brighton Asda store in Crowhurst Road. He was charged with these two offences and appeared in court where he received a £150 fine and a drug rehabilitation requirement order.

Daniel Kadlec, 38, of no fixed address, targeted two Co-op stores in Hove stealing £41 worth of stock from the branch in Western Road and £65 worth of stock from one in Church Road. He was charged with these offences and released on bail with conditions not to go to the Co-op. Unfortunately he breached those by offending again where he went to the store in Church Road and stole £49 worth of items. He was arrested again, charged and appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court. He admitted the offences and was received a custodial sentence, which was time he had already served while remanded in custody after the last offence.

Force business crime lead Chris Neilson said: “We will pursue those who persistently target and steal from our local businesses regardless of the value and type of goods.  It is not a victimless crime and impacts on local businesses and their customers. Shop workers who are there to help their customers should not suffer abuse, threats and even assault from those who believe it is acceptable to steal on a regular basis.  We will continue to work in partnership with businesses to bring those that behave criminally in such a way to justice.”

The Safer Sussex Business Partnership (SSBP) was set up by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne in February 2020. It brings together Sussex Police, local and national retailers and other interested partners to tackle the root causes of business crime, encourage swifter reporting and find better ways to work together to catch and punish all prolific offenders. 

PCC Bourne said she was pleased that Sussex Police were now working more closely with local businesses and taking even greater action to target persistent offenders in our high streets and shopping areas.

“I am determined to find better ways of targeting offenders who continue to blight our business communities and, working with the SSBP, to find innovative ways of reducing the impact of these crimes.

“This type of rigorous investigating is exactly what local businesses have told me they want to see. It sends a strong message to criminals who wish to exploit our retail sector that they will be reported, caught and punished.

“It also helps build confidence among our local retail sector that appropriate action will be taken by Sussex Police to protect them, their livelihoods and their customers.

“Sussex Police recognise that theft is a crime that should receive an appropriate response and there is no minimum monetary threshold applied to what will, or will not be, investigated.”