Would-be shoplifter hid expensive items in trolley

A WOULD-be shoplifter whose haul included dog food -- although he had no dog -- had “nested” items in a supermarket trolley, so hiding expensive items by surrounding them with cheaper articles.

But security staff at the Tesco store in Wisbech became suspicious when they saw Paul Kervein’s shopping, and he abandoned a trolley containing almost �400 worth of items at the customer service desk.

Kervein, who had travelled to Wisbech by bus from Bedford, was later traced and arrested, and on Tuesday appeared before Fenland magistrates and admitted attempted theft.

After magistrates were told that Kervein was already subject to a suspended jail sentence, he was given a new eight week suspended sentence and ordered to carry out an extra 100 hours unpaid work.

“Security staff had become suspicious because the trolley was packed in such a way that expensive items were hidden in the middle of the trolley,” said prosecutor Nicola Rice. “He told police he had �41 in his bank account. He was asked why he had selected five tubes of toothpaste, and dog food when he had no dog. Clearly there were other items not for his own use.”

Mitigating, Kay Younis said: “There is an indication that my client took out a loan from a loan shark. He owed �200, and on many occasions he was pressured into doing what they wanted him to do, to reduce that debt.

“There is no suggestion he was aware he was being watched, he had a change of heart, so he walked out of the supermarket.”