A GANG of thieves who stole from ‘almost every town in Dorset’ to fund their heroin addictions have been jailed.
Lesley Moir, Christopher Riddell and Steven Young had a shopping list of items to steal to order, Dorchester Crown Court heard.
They embarked on a campaign of organised thefts throughout last year in which they stole in excess of £5,000 of goods from stores in areas including Weymouth, Dorchester, Bridport, Blandford, Sherborne, Shaftesbury, Poole, Wimborne, Broadstone and Corfe Mullen.
Young told police he met Moir and Riddell at Narcotics Anonymous meetings and, thinking they were clean, invited them to stay at his home in Hasler Road, Poole.
But the father-of-three, aged 34, relapsed to ‘epic proportions’ in their company, the court heard.
With Christmas approaching, the gang was given a list of items to obtain, such as gift sets, electric toothbrushes and epilators, prosecutor Anita Gibson Lee said.
The court heard that the main target had been Boots.
Young admitted stealing more than 200 items of No.7 make-up from the Blandford store in one day.
The gang was caught when CCTV linked Riddell’s car, which was used as the getaway vehicle, to several of the incidents.
He admitted being one of the drivers but would not say who else had driven the car because they didn’t have insurance, the court was told.
In mitigation Nicholas Robinson said Riddell was ‘not an unintelligent man’ but that drugs had ‘diluted his conscience’.
Moir, who has appeared in court on 36 occasions for 70 offences, said the gang had also stolen items from Waitrose, Co-op and Tesco stores.
All three were urged by Judge Roger Jarvis to tackle their addictions.
Sentencing Moir and Riddell to 12 months and Young to 10 months, he said: “There is such a shame when the court deals with heroin addicts because there is so often so much potential gone wasted.
“It is corrosive to your relationships with the people who are close to you. The only people who can find the strength and determination to rid yourselves of this abuse are you.
“Help is available – you have all had it in the past, but you are continuing with your abuse.
“This sort of offence can only be dealt with by an immediate custodial sentence.”