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Aggressive thief jailed and banned from five stores

A prolific retail thief has been barred from multiple shops in Southend as he embarks on a prison term for a string of offences.

Simon Price, 38, residing at Dapple Close in Rochford, was apprehended following an incident on London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, on Wednesday 1 May.

Swiftly charged by officers, Price faced 16 counts of shoplifting, two counts of assault by beating, and one count each of possession of an offensive weapon, harassment, and a public order offence.

Appearing at Southend-on-Sea Magistrates’ Court on Friday 3 May, Price was convicted of shoplifting, possessing an offensive weapon, and assault by beating. He received a 50-week prison sentence and a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

The CBO prohibits Price from entering any Tesco, BP garage, and Co-op outlets in Southend, as well as the Morrison’s store on London Road, Hadleigh, and the One-Stop store on Sutton Road, Southend.

Following the verdict, Sergeant Stephen Wells from Essex Police commented:

“This sentence was made possible thanks to our Operation Raker – we have dedicated officers targeting prolific offenders in our community and bringing them to justice.

“Price was prolific; his shoplifting all took place across the last month. He was stealing from shops across Southend and the surrounding area every other day.

“He now has the time to consider his behaviour in prison before he is released, and must follow the rules set out in his CBO or face returning to jail.

“We are making it as clear as possible – you cannot assault shop workers, you cannot shoplift and you cannot carry a weapon in Essex and get away with it.

“We don’t tolerate persistent anti-social behaviour and want Southend to be a safe place to live, work and visit.”

It's important to note that theft from retail outlets is not a victimless crime, impacting businesses, employees, and communities.

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