A prolific shoplifter has been jailed for over two years after stealing an estimated £1,500 worth of goods from supermarkets in east and north Kent.
After walking into a store, 37-year-old Benjamin Birch would steal high-value items such as joints of meat, boxes of washing detergent, tubs of chocolates, packets of razor blades and bottles of gin, and hide them in bags or in his walking frame before strolling back out.
In many incidents, the extent of Birch’s shoplifting was only realised when staff reviewed their CCTV footage.
Between 29 July and 14 October 2019, Birch targeted seven stores in Birchington, Whitstable, Sandwich, and Faversham, carrying out a total of 20 thefts.
On one occasion, in a supermarket in Bysing Wood Road, Faversham, Birch stole at least 14 beef joints and placed them into shopping bags before walking back out. Although shop staff tried to stop him, he left with almost all of the stolen items.
Birch admitted the charges and at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 18 November 2019, he was sentenced to a total of 114 weeks in prison.