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Thief who stole watches from Sunderland TK Maxx store given time behind bars

A thief who pocketed watches from a Sunderland store has been given time to reflect on his crimes after being jailed for 14 weeks.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 17th June 2022, 4:55 am

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Liam Ellison, 32, pinched almost £600 of goods from city centre clothing and accessories outlet TK Maxx – and then went back for more, a court heard.

Over three consecutive days, he swiped £240 of watches, four handbags priced in total at £200, and £150 of cosmetics.

So bad was his intense targeting of The Bridges shopping centre store that bosses ordered a CCTV review of trading between June 10 and 12.

Liam Ellison.

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It led to Ellison being identified as the culprit and nabbed red-handed with another £155 of cosmetics by security staff as he returned a fourth time on Monday, June 13.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “The theft prevention officer viewed CCTV on June 13.

“He did so after being made aware of a number of thefts. He attended the store to review the CCTV.

“He noted that on Friday, June 10, the defendant entered the store, picked up four handbags and exited.

“On June 11, the defendant entered and took 12 watches worth £240 and concealed them in a white carrier bag.

“And on June 12, he again entered the store and selected items with a total value of £150, and left without paying for them.

“On June 13 he has been seen to enter the store and to select a number of items, but he’s been detected with £155 of cosmetics.”

Ellison, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to three counts of shop theft and one of attempted theft from a shop.

Joanne Gatens, defending, told District Judge Zoe Passfield: “It seems to be a bit of a revolving door. It’s a desperate situation for him at the moment.

“I understand that custody is inevitable, but I hope that you can keep it as short as possible to give him something to aim for.”

The court heard Ellison committed the offences while on licence from prison for a previous offence.

Judge Passfield jailed him for 14 weeks for each offence, to run concurrently, and she ordered him to pay TK Maxx £200 compensation.

There were no court costs.