A THIEF was caught snatching a packet of coffee from a South Tyneside supermarket by a police officer already in the store.
Darren Robertshaw had just £1 on him when he went into the Farmfoods shop on St James Mall, Hebburn, to buy some milk on January 19.
When he decided he also needed some coffee, he took some and hid it in his jacket, but a police officer responding to a separate incident caught the 43-year-old in the act.
Robertshaw, of Victoria Street in Hebburn, pleaded guilty to a charge of shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Laura Johnson, defending, said: “Mr Robertshaw went into the store to buy some milk, but saw the coffee and decided to put it in his jacket.
“It is a low-level offence. He has entered an early guilty plea, and I would ask for him to be given full credit for that.”
Magistrates handed Robertshaw a six-month conditional discharge.