Pregnant shoplifter who stole £51k worth of Rolex watches from Kendal shop is spared jail

Shoplifter Wiktoria Bartkowiak was spared jail following the theft of Rolex watches. Credit: ITV Border.

A pregnant shoplifter who stole £51,600 worth of Rolex watches in Kendal has been spared jail.

Wiktoria Bartkowiak, of Kingfisher Drive, Bury, scouted out the jewellers prior to the theft of more than £50,000 worth of the desirable watches.

She made a number of visits to the town centre Banks Lyon store before carrying out her crimes, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The 24-year-old returned the following day and, while an assistant’s attention was elsewhere, she snatched four expensive Rolex timepieces.

The brazen Bartkowiak then fled out of the store and straight into a waiting getaway car.

She was then found behind the wheel of that vehicle for which she was not insured, and initially provided police with a false name. When brought to court she admitted theft, obstructing a constable and also driving without insurance.

Recorder Paul Hodgkinson accepted some pressure, although not duress, had been placed on Bartkowiak by her now former partner.

He described her theft as “sophisticated”.

He added: “You attended the Kendal area in Cumbria and, as the Crown puts it, and I accept, cased out the Banks Lyon jewellers."

But in view of her lack of previous convictions and the imminent arrival of a second child, Recorder Hodgkinson suspended a 12-month jail term for 18 months.

Bartkowiak must carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work, complete a 20-day probation service rehabilitation requirement and observe an electronically monitored night time curfew for three months.

David Traynor, giving mitigation, said Bartkowiak had previously been at university studying architecture but left after becoming pregnant.

A second child was due in March next year and the court heard how, if the defendant was jailed, her mother would have to give up work to provide childcare. She was assessed by a probation officer as having fragile mental health.

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