Shoplifter threatened to stab staff with syringe while stealing from Northampton Co-op 25 TIMES in a month

Serial thief, 48, went back four times in one day to steal booze, meat, fabric conditioner and dishwasher tablets

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:24 pm

A serial shoplifter threatened to stab shocked staff with a syringe while targeting a Northampton Co-op during a 32-day reign of terror.

Richard George Prescott stole from the Bellinge store 25 times in less than a month, often going back more than once on the same day.

On five occasions when staff bravely challenged him, Prescott assaulted them including one incident where a man was threatened with a syringe.

Prescott admitted 25 thefts and five assaults on staff at a Northampton Co-op

Investigating officer PC Jamie Longrigg said: "Prescott single-mindedly targeted that one shop, his behaviour was menacing towards staff and would spill over into threats and violence."

All the offences took place at the Co-op store off Fieldmill Road, Bellinge, between May 22 and June 23 this year.

Prescott, stole items including booze, quiches, toilet roll, sandwiches, coffee pods and pizzas.

On June 5 he visited the store FOUR TIMES to steal boxes of wine and lamb.

And just three days later he again entered the store four times.

After taking lamb chops, lamb steaks, pork belly beef steaks and flowers on his first visit, he went back for fabric conditioner, dishwasher tables and meat; then three rump steaks and three sirloin steaks; and finally more dishwasher tablets.

The 48-year-old, of Greendale Square, Ecton Brook, appeared for sentencing at Northampton Magistrates Court on Friday (July 16) after pleading guilty to all 30 charges of theft and assault at a previous hearing.

He was sentenced to 22 weeks’ in prison suspended for a year and was issued with a criminal behaviour order to deter and prevent him from committing further offences.

The order, which follows a police application to the Crown Prosecution Service, means Prescott is barred from anywhere in Fieldmill Road for the next two years.

PC Longrigg, of the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This result was a great team effort from our NPT, everyone played their part in ensuring we put a stop to this unacceptable behaviour.

“Prescott had single-mindedly targeted that one shop and, from the staff’s point of view, he was causing them a lot of concern because his behaviour was quite menacing towards them and would spill over into threats and violence at times.

“I hope it comes as a relief to the store workers and to the local community that Prescott is now legally prevented from continuing his anti-social and criminal behaviour in this area.

“The CBO prevents Prescott from entering Fieldmill Road and by releasing his photo, we are asking anyone who sees him flouting this order to report it to us by calling 101.”

Prescott was also told to complete a range of requirements and sessions to address his offending and was ordered to pay £350 compensation including £50 each to three named victims of his assaults.

A spokesperson for Co-op added: “Shop workers have gone to amazing lengths to feed and care for their communities throughout the pandemic. Violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour should not be part of their job.

"We welcome steps to support frontline shop workers and, which help to prevent and deter these assaults and criminal acts from continuing in the community.”