Image: Warwickshire Police

Serial Leamington shoplifter John Lewis jailed again

Prolific shoplifter, John Lewis, has been jailed and received a triple-digit fine after being convicted of multiple counts of shoplifting.

On 18 April, at Coventry Magistrates Court, he was given a custodial sentence of 26 weeks and was fined £718.94, for six counts of shoplifting and one count of bicycle theft. Mr Lewis, 34, of Portland Street, Leamington, had targeted numerous shops around the Shires Retail Park and The Parade.

Police described in detail the spree of thefts that had led to Lewis’s downfall. Late on 6 March, he was caught swiping a bottle of vodka from a supermarket on The Parade. When challenged, he proceeded to take a second bottle, before wandering out of the store with £50 worth of spirits.

Two days later, he was caught on CCTV taking a bicycle left outside a Sainsbury’s in Shires Retail Park. On 26 March, he then took £45 worth of whisky from a supermarket on The Parade. This was captured by CCTV, and staff were once again able to identify him.

On 9 April, he stole a red charity coin box from the Sainsbury’s at Shires Retail Park, which he concealed in his jacket. Two days later, he took £43.98 worth of cosmetic items from a pharmacy on The Parade.

Finally, on 12 April, he took a coat valued at £129.99 from a clothes shop at Shires Retail Park and was caught by CCTV again. Staff recognised him on most of these occasions.

John Lewis is known so well to business owners that it is frankly ridiculous that he thinks he can continue stealing from them

PC Ian Wainwright, Warwickshire Police

When arrested, Lewis told police that he had stolen the items to fund his drug habit.

Following the court hearing, investigating officer PC Ian Wainwright of Warwickshire Police said: “John Lewis is known so well to business owners that it is frankly ridiculous that he thinks he can continue stealing from them.”

“Unfortunately, this is the impact of addiction on the lives of the individual, and the lives of those around them”.

He added: “Rationality and sense don’t really come into it. Only prolific shoplifters receive prison sentences, which give the businesses a time of respite from their activities, as well as giving people like Lewis an opportunity to rethink their lives, and to access support services available to them.”

This is not the first time that John Lewis has been jailed, having previously pleaded guilty to four charges of shoplifting in November of last year. At the time of that offence, he was already serving an 18-week suspended sentence, having been convicted for 21 counts of shoplifting the month prior.

The suspended sentence was duly activated, and he received an additional eight weeks for the later offences, totalling a 26-week prison sentence.


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