Shoplifter caught red handed after CCTV coincidence

13:14 04 March 2014

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A SERIAL shoplifter was caught when a security guard spotted him in action - the very moment he was showing a detective CCTV footage of an earlier theft by the same man.

Alan Webber, who struck in Sidmouth, Seaton and Exeter, was arrested at the city’s Co-operative shop at the end of a year-long crime spree.

He stole high value goods and sold them to feed his crack cocaine habit.

Webber, 35, has been given a final chance to beat his addiction after being freed from Exeter Crown Court and ordered to attend rehabilitation.

He stole more than £5,000 of goods from shops including the Co-op in Sidmouth Sport and Leisure in Seaton and Boots and the Co-op in Exeter and was branded as a ‘real nuisance’ by a judge.

Webber, of Seaton, admitted burglary, six counts of theft and asked for another 12 shopliftings to be taken into consideration.

He was jailed for two years, suspended for two years and ordered to receive drug rehabilitation treatment as part of 12 months supervision by Recorder James Waddington.

Eleanor Purkiss, prosecuting, said Webber was arrested on January 14 in Exeter when he returned to the same Co-op shop he raided in July.

In the meantime he broke into the Boots shop at Exe Bridges where he was caught by a nightwatchman.

Miss Purkiss said: “On that occasion he stole goods worth £1,051.32 and was caught on CCTV. The store security staff were reviewing the footage with a police officer when they saw the same man in the store selecting items and removing tags.”

Edward Bailey, defending, said Webber has recently become a father and is determined to turn his back on heroin and crack cocaine.

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