Clumsy shoplifter caught when cop spotted price tag sticking out of stolen coat

Paul Raymond, 41, stole a £300 jacket from TK Maxx in Worcester and would have sold it to feed his addiction to ‘Class A drugs’ had it not come to the attention of the police

Unfortunate shoplifter Paul Raymond tried to steal a £300 coat from TK Maxx

A clumsy shoplifter was easily caught by police after he was spotted wearing a stolen coat with the price tag still sticking out of the hood.

Paul Raymond, 41, pinched TK Maxx’s £299 jacket in Worcester town center after he used tin foil to trick the security alarm on March 8 this year.

A court heard the unfortunate scammer was later spotted by a police officer leaving the store with the price tag attached to the hood and a security cable sticking out.

Raymond was quickly arrested and dragged to Worcester Magistrates Court where he admitted to the theft last week.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and a contribution to costs of £90.

A policeman spotted him walking around with the tag still on


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Prosecuting Eleanor Peart said officers were on patrol in uniform when they saw the “known shoplifter” leaving TK Maxx “wearing a large new jacket.”

Miss Peart said: ‘The price tag was still attached to the bonnet and the safety cable was visible.

Raymond, of Tolladine, Worcester, was arrested and the jacket was returned to the store in salable condition.

In a police interview, Raymond said he recognized the coat was a high-value item.

Miss Peart added: “He said he put foil around the security tag to stop him activating the security alarm.

“He allegedly sold the jacket for £120 to fund his drug use.

“He has numerous store robbery convictions.”

Justices of the Peace have been told the drug addict has already racked up £6,493 in court fines for 94 previous offenses and has paid back £2,728 so far.

Barry Newton, defending, admitted his client had “an unenviable record” but said he had only one theft offense in 2020 and one attempted theft last year.

He explained that Raymond suffered “from a long-term drug addiction” and added: “His demon is a class A drug”.

Another Worcester-based drug addict who stole a toy reindeer to feed his heroin habit was released last month because his wife cheated on him three times.

Serial shoplifter Mark Spragg from Worcester stole a £60 electric reindeer from Wilko and £195 worth of cosmetics from Boots after his marriage collapsed.

The 40-year-old was arrested and admitted stealing the items between December 16 and February 1 this year after the painful breakup left him unable to lead a “productive” life, the court heard.

Worcester Magistrates Court heard Spragg hadn’t touched drugs in three years – but fell off the wagon when his wife cheated on him.

Mark Sheward, defending, said: “For the past few years he has been using class A drugs.

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Eleanor C. William