A man is accused of stealing meat, coffee and alcohol from several high street supermarkets.

Zachariah Simms was charged with eight counts of theft, three counts of robbery and one count of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

The incidents are alleged to have happened in several supermarkets in Hastings and St Leonards, including Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer and Co-op.

Security staff and employees were “threatened with and subjected to violence” on some occasions.


The 21-year-old, of no fixed address, appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on November 29 and has been remanded in custody to appear before the same court on January 3.

Sussex Police received reports of shoplifting from Co-op in London Road four times between August and September this year.

More thefts were reported in Hastings town centre – at the Sainsbury’s store on September 2, at Marks and Spencer on October 2 and Savers on the November 24. A theft was also reported from the Sainsbury’s store in Bexhill on November 1. Stolen items included biscuits, coffee, alcohol and large quantities of meat.

DC Debora Baptista said: “We acknowledge the financial and emotional impact business crime has on owners and employees, particularly when a business is repeatedly targeted.

“We work closely with businesses, local authorities and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships across Sussex, listening to the concerns raised by our business community and working with partners to see how we can best respond to address the issue. We take each report seriously, irrespective of the value, following up on any reasonable lines of enquiry.

“We would always encourage shop workers, business owners, and the local community to report offences to us so we can gather intelligence to help prevent, detect and respond to crime. If you are a victim or witness to any crime, you can report it online or via 101, or dial 999 in an emergency.”