Man steals clothes from Sussex shop and threatens staff with knife in 'terrifying ordeal'

  • After a short chase, 41-year-old Robert Sheppard was stopped by police.

A man who stole clothes from a shop in Sussex and threatened staff with a knife has been jailed.

Robert Sheppard, 41, of no fixed address, stole two pairs of joggers worth £159 each from Sports Direct in North Street, Chichester, on Monday 4 September.

He then threatened staff with a knife in what's been described by police as a "terrifying ordeal".

Police were able to arrest him a few minutes later despite Sheppard trying to get away.

Sergeant Sam Milsom said: “Sheppard is a dangerous individual who carries knifes upon himself, having no regard to the public safety.

“This is a terrifying ordeal and not something that anyone who goes to work would expect to deal with.

“Sheppard has rightly received a custodial sentence and will be subject to a SVRO when released from custody.

“I would like to thank the member of the public who aided police that day in apprehending Sheppard as he fled from officers. It’s people like them who help police lock away violent and dangerous offenders.”

Sheppard pleaded guilty to possession of a knife, threatening with a knife, and theft from a shop.

He has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

He was also ordered to pay a £187 fine and a given a 24-month Serious Violence Reduction Order (SVRO), the first of its kind in West Sussex.

Police now have the right to search Sheppard in a public place to check he isn’t carrying an offensive weapon, under the order that runs for two years.

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