Man who stole more than £2,500 of tobacco products pleads guilty
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A prolific shoplifter who stole more than £2,500 worth of tobacco products from a shop in Bexhill has pleaded guilty at court.
Aron Croft, 35, and of no fixed address, admitted two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and a public order offence when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 21 September.
He had been arrested in Bexhill on Tuesday 12 September after a PCSO recognised him from CCTV footage of burglaries at the town’s Co-op store in Seabourne Road.
Croft had been to the shop on Sunday 13 August and entered a restricted area to steal tobacco products with a value of £342.45.
He returned to the same store on Sunday 20 August and again tried to enter a restricted area before being confronted by a member of staff.
He threatened the staff member before taking tobacco products worth £2,285.05 and placing them in Co-op carrier bags, leaving the store without making payment. The staff member was shaken but thankfully unharmed.
Croft also pleaded guilty to two counts of theft – meat worth £46.75 from the Co-op store in Fairlight Road, Hastings, and alcohol worth £400 from Southern Co-op in High Street, Cranbrook.
He will be sentenced on Thursday 19 October.
Inspector Richard Breeze, of the Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Croft brazenly targeted businesses in our area and caused significant financial harm with his repeated offending.
“Thanks to the vigilance of a local PCSO and exceptional teamwork with officers in our neighbourhood and response policing teams, we were able to secure this conviction and help protect businesses in our community from future harm.”