Persistent shoplifter jailed after thefts in Penarth and Cardiff

Penarth Times: THEIF: Jason Paul Leonard in Tesco Extra in Whitchurch THEIF: Jason Paul Leonard in Tesco Extra in Whitchurch

A PERSISTENT shoplifter who stole nearly £700 worth of goods from shops in Cardiff and Penarth has been jailed.

Over a three week period John Paul Leonard stole £374 worth of razors, ham and cheese valued at £99, 15 packs of meat, 13 jars of coffee, a bottle of gin and a bottle of cider.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court took his guilty pleas into consideration but decided a prison sentence was required because of his previous offending.

The 31-year-old from Roath, Cardiff, told officers he stole from shops to fund his £60 a day drug addiction.

Investigating officer PC Lianne Matthews from South Wales Police said: “Shoplifting is not a victimless crime as it affects a local community significantly and is currently one of the force’s main policing priorities.

“As we did in this case, we work closely with local businesses and security staff to identify prolific offenders.”

At around 5.35pm on Monday, April 21, Leonard was caught on CCTV filling a bag with ham and cheese to the value of £99 in Sainsbury’s, Whitchurch Road, Cardiff.

Four days later he attended the Co-op, Station Road, Llandaff North, where a customer witnessed him take 15 packs of meat worth £90 and put a £14 bottle of Gordon’s Gin down his trousers.

The following day, staff at Tesco Express in Whitchurch noticed Leonard acting suspiciously. He then selected numerous washing gels in the household aisle before making his way to the alcohol section where he took a bottle of red Bulmers cider. He left the shop without offering any payment.

More than two weeks later, on Monday, May 5 he stole 13 tubs of Nescafe Azera coffee worth £47.45 from Sainsbury’s in Heol Llanishen Fach.

Finally on Sunday, May 11, he made off from Boots in Penarth with a selection of Gillette Fusion and Proglide razors worth £374.

He was arrested on May 23 by an officer patrolling Roath in plain clothes and appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court the following day where he was sentenced to a total of 26 weeks.

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