A prolific shoplifter preyed on supermarkets and stole thousands of pounds worth of stock.

Joanne Cook stole a total of £6,672.07 worth of items in 17 different incidents in Worthing between March 4 and June 1.

She took items including food, jewellery and alcohol.

She has now been jailed and banned from entering several shops in the area.

The shops Cook targeted in her shoplifting spree were:

  • Sainsbury’s, Lyons Farm, Sompting
  • Paydens Pharmacy, Broadwater
  • Tesco Express, Goring Road,
  • Co-op, Test Road, Sompting
  • Co-op, Tarring Road
  • Tesco, Dominion Road

Cook, of no fixed address, was arrested on June 4 and later charged with 17 counts of shoplifting and five counts of breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

She pleaded guilty to all 17 offences.

The 35-year-old was sentenced to 52 weeks’ imprisonment when she appeared before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on June 5 for the 17 incidents and for activating a suspended sentence.

She had been sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months when she appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on April 27 for six shoplifting offences committed between April 10 and April 26.

The conditions of her CBO are:

  • Not to remain on any retail premises within the county of Sussex after being asked to leave
  • Not to enter any Co-op in Sussex
  • Not to enter Sainsbury’s, Lyons Farm
  • Not to enter any Tesco store in West Sussex
  • Not to enter Morrisons Daily, Broadwater Road
  • Not to enter Martins/McColls, Broadwater
  • Not to enter Paydens Pharmacy.

Sergeant Andy Bryant said: “This is a brilliant result for a prolific shoplifter in Worthing.

“There was a lot of hard work from our teams to secure this sentence for Cook and I am delighted with the outcome to curb her offending.

“No shop worker should have to deal with theft and Sussex Police has a stern stance on business crime. We will arrest, charge and put suspects before the courts.

“Retail crime is hugely impactful to businesses and we will aim to ensure we crack down on thieves like Cook.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The arrest and charge of the offender sends a clear message to others who steal from retailers in Sussex – you will not get away with it. Our improved approach between shops and the police means it is only a matter of time until you will be caught.”