A PROLIFIC thief stole almost £60 worth of toothpaste from a South Tyneside shop just hours after being released from court.
Craig Nicholson, who has 110 convictions, stole 14 tubes of Sensodyne from the Boots store in Jarrow.
The 34-year-old challenged one member of staff who was watching him and denied stealing anything.
But security cameras revealed he had taken the toothpaste and they called police.
Nicholson, of Fenwick Court, Hebburn, pleaded guilty to theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Claire Irving, prosecuting, said: “It was about 5pm on Monday when staff noticed the defendant in the shop and monitored him because they recognised him.
“He left but came back and said to one them ‘you were following me, I haven’t taken anything’.
“When he went again she checked CCTV, which showed he had taken 14 tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste.”
Magistrates heard that Nicholson had been at the court earlier that day and pleaded guilty to a separate shoplifting offence.
He was granted bail until November 5, when he is due to appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced for a further two thefts.
Christopher Brown, defending, said: “Almost every shop in the borough will recognise him and keep a close eye on him.”
Magistrates decided to send Nicholson’s latest case to Newcastle as well, to be dealt with on November 5.
He was remanded in custody until then.