A serial shoplifter has been banned from Chelmsford city centre and four shops within the city limits.

Joe Wilkinson committed nine thefts from shops between May 28 and July 12.

He stole goods including cosmetics, candles and chocolates, worth almost £2,500 from Co-Op, Aldi, Boots and John Lewis stores within Chelmsford city area.

Wilkinson, 34, of Harberd Tye, Chelmsford, admitted nine thefts when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on July 26.

He was sentenced to a maximum of 8 weeks imprisonment for each offence (concurrent), suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £1,838.54 compensation.

The judge also issued a three-year criminal behaviour order, which bans Wilkinson from the following stores within the City of Chelmsford:

  • Not to enter any Co-Op store
  • Not to enter any Aldi store
  • Not to enter any Boots store
  • Not to enter John Lewis, Chelmsford branch

In addition, the criminal behaviour order prevents Wilkinson from entering Chelmsford city centre except for preapproved meetings and use of the bus and train stations.

PS Graham Thomas, said: “Wilkinson was prolific, stealing from multiple businesses all over Chelmsford.

"This criminal behaviour order will offer protection to local businesses and will be enforced robustly by Essex Police.”