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'Professional thief' locked up after bracelet theft
4:00pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
A 27-YEAR-OLD man described as a "professional thief" has been jailed for 32 months after he stole a £1,200 bracelet from a jewellers at the Merry Hill centre.
Judge Nicholas Webb at Wolverhampton Crown Court said it was clear Anthony Sheppard targeted shops carrying expensive products because he had the "ability to get into glass display cabinets".
He told Sheppard he had an "appalling" criminal record and added: "Leaving aside the unlawful taking of cars there are 57 previous convictions for theft, handling, burglary and attempted such offences."
Sheppard took the bracelet from the Ernest Jones shop after getting into the display cabinet but he was captured committing the offence on CCTV.
He managed to evade arrest but was apprehended two days later when he was again spotted at Merry Hill and this time he had a small amount of cannabis in his possession.
Sheppard, of no fixed address, admitted stealing the bracelet, possessing the Class B drug and also stealing property including £2,000 worth of computer games from two shops in the Birmingham area.
Sati Ruck, prosecuting, said Sheppard was on bail when he committed three of the offences and at the time he was also on licence from his last jail term.
She told the court that when interviewed by police he revealed he committed crimes to fuel his long-standing drug habit.
The court heard Sheppard had 17 convictions on his record for stealing thousands of pounds worth of property from locked cabinets in jewellery shops.