Brighton man Elliot Cahill has been found guilty of a prolific series of shoplifting that included the theft of over £2,400 of homeware from a shop he targeted 12 times.
Cahill, 31, of no fixed address, repeatedly stole items from a store in North Street, including ten instances in May and June of this year alone.
On each occasion, Cahill was seen by staff and on CCTV to enter the store, select various items including electric diffusers, pillows and luxury gift sets and leave without paying.
During some incidents he would leave with the items held above his head.
In March, Cahill was also seen to steal cosmetics from a different store in North Street and over £100 of food from a St James’s Street supermarket in two separate visits.
In May he entered another homestore in North Street and checked the price tags of various items on a table. He left empty-handed, but returned shortly after to take some of the products, including a large mirror and a storage box worth over £100.
Cahill stole goods worth more than £2,800 in total over a four-month period.
He was charged with 16 counts of shoplifting and, at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, June 13, was found guilty of all charges.
He was released on bail with conditions barring him from some areas of the city centre, pending sentencing on Wednesday, August 3.
Cahill was identified as a repeat offender by a dedicated team working under the banner of Operation Apprentice, incorporating Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) and Business Improvement District (BID) ambassadors.
Operation Apprentice is the police response to business crime and anti-social behaviour in Brighton and Hove, through which officers work closely with the business community to identify areas and individuals of concern and work together to share information, gather intelligence and take positive action.
Inspector Ben Hearth, Brighton and Hove’s lead for business crime, said: “Elliot Cahill was identified as a prolific offender thanks to the collaboration between Sussex Police, businesses and our partners in the community.
“That sense of teamwork is vital to catching these repeat offenders who cause so much harm to our communities – not just in financial losses to the businesses they target, but to the shop workers who are intimidated and forced into impossible situations.
“We will continue to work alongside the business community to protect them from harm and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne says: "The brazen attitude of this individual, who repeatedly stole from Brighton shops with no regard for the negative impact he was having on customers and staff, highlights why Sussex Police is working hard with businesses to prevent repeat offending.
“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime, neither is its impact low level so I’m very pleased that this individual has been found guilty.
"His conviction is a great example of how Sussex Police work with partners to deter criminals and remove prolific offenders from communities.”