A ‘PROLIFIC thief’ who targeted shops in Bournemouth has appeared in court.

The 36-year-old man from Bournemouth admitted to 46 shoplifting offences when he appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Friday, February 2.

The defendant stole items such as alcohol, meat, and confectionary on an almost daily basis between November 6 last year and January 16.

He targeted two stores in Charminster Road and Ripon Road.

He was arrested and charged with 25 offences relating to these stores, with the total value of the items stolen nearly £4,000.

The defendant was charged with a further 21 other shoplifting offences and also admitted a non-dwelling burglary, failing to answer bail, and breaching a conditional discharge.

Chief Inspector Alyssa Forrest, of Dorset Police, said: “The investigation into this man’s repeated offending was part of Operation Shopkeeper, which is an initiative that identifies prolific shoplifters and known theft hot spots, taking decisive action to protect businesses from these acquisitive thieves.

“We recognise the significant impact theft can have on a business and the wider community. Prolific shoplifters are relentlessly targeted in this nature and we are committed to taking robust action against those involved.

“As well as bringing charges before the court, officers are also applying for a criminal behaviour order and restraining orders that will aim to add another layer of protection for these businesses and help to limit any future offending.

“We will continue to work with traders in our communities to respond to concerns over shoplifting and to identify and prosecute offenders.”

The defendant will be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, March 1.