A serial shoplifter has been jailed for committing a string of offences across Dudley, which saw him steal around £2,000 worth of items.

Ian Waterworth, of Union Street, Stourbridge, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theft from a shop at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court last Thursday (25 January). The 35-year-old was sentenced to six months and one week in prison.

Waterworth’s shoplifting spree started in December when he singled out stores in Stourbridge, Brierley Hill and Halesowen, stealing items worth a total of almost two grand.

“Having gathered witness statements and following a review of CCTV footage, we identified Waterworth – who was on our wanted list for previously failing to appear at court – as our suspect,” West Midlands Police revealed.

“We arrested him in Stourbridge town centre last Wednesday and he was remanded in custody prior to his court appearance the following day.

“We’re making a concerted effort to deal with shoplifters like Waterworth and two other regular offenders who we caught recently have now been dealt with by the courts.”

Earlier this month, a 31-year-old man was sentenced to 10-and-a-half months in prison for stealing thousands of pounds worth of goods from two convenience stores and a petrol station in Stourbridge and Lye between October and December last year, police reported.

Ian Waterworth from Stourbridge pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theftWMP
Ian Waterworth from Stourbridge pleaded guilty to 11 counts of theft

In December, a persistent shoplifter who stole from stores across Brierley Hill, was sent to prison for a year. The 30-year-old woman had targeted various shops over several months last year.

Sergeant Imran Mohammed from the force’s Stourbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We know that shoplifting has a detrimental impact on businesses but there’s a human cost as well.

“It’s upsetting and sometimes frightening for staff members affected and it also has a wider impact on the local community, creating negative perceptions of an area.

“We’re pleased to see Waterworth sentenced. He’s another persistent shoplifter we’ve helped to put behind bars and we’ll continue in our efforts to see these offenders held to account for their actions.

“We’re also here to offer support to businesses on how to improve security and discourage shoplifting through crime prevention and safeguarding advice.”

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