Incompetent thief given one last chance after stealing DVDs

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AN ‘incompetent thief’ has been given time to stay out of trouble – after landing himself in court for his latest shop theft.

Mark Taylor was caught on CCTV taking three DVD box sets worth more than £120 from Asda in South Shields by security staff.

He was seen going into an aisle of the store to remove security tags from the items before being stopped as he attempted to leave the store.

The 33-year-old admitted a charge of shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that he had not committed any offences for nine years from 2004 until the end of 2013 but, since losing his job, he had been caught carrying out 15 shop theft offences since December.

His latest theft took place on Friday, July 11.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “A security officer at work at the store was viewing the CCTV system and saw a man in the DVD aisle.

“He selected three box sets from the open display and didn’t even look at them.

“He put them in a basket and went into a clothing aisle and was seen to take the tags off and put the DVDs in a black bag.”

Taylor dumped the box sets in another aisle when staff went to speak to him Police were called and he was arrested. Richard Rodger, defending, said: “From 2004 through to 2013, he remained trouble free. He was working as a bricklayer but lost his job in the recession.

“He fell on hard times and has carried out 15 shop theft offences since December.”

Mr Rodger said Taylor, of Horsley Gardens, Gateshead, was trying to get his life back on track and urged the court to give him a final opportunity.

District Judge Roger Elsey agreed to defer his sentence for three months to allow him to keep out of trouble.

Judge Elsey said: “You are incompetent as a thief. You seem to get caught every time.

“I am going to give you an opportunity. If you don’t comply, you will go to prison.”

Taylor’s sentence was deferred until October 13 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.