AN alcoholic shoplifter failed to make a smooth getaway form the scene of his latest crime.
Ian Hewitt, of Grey Terrace, Ryhope, was spotted stealing anti-wrinkle cream from Boots, in King Street, South Shields, last Wednesday.
When the 47-year-old – who has 86 previous convictions – was arrested, he told police he had a skin complaint and needed the cream to soothe it.
Hewitt pleaded guilty to a charge of theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
David Richardson, prosecuting, said: “At 9.15am, a member of staff saw the defendant acting suspiciously.
“He was looking at anti-wrinkle cream in the aisle.
“The staff saw him leave and looked at CCTV which showed him taking two items.
“They called police who caught up with him and saw him try to hide something. They found it to be the stolen items and arrested him.”
Paul Heron, mitigating, said: “You will read his record and see he’s 47 years of age and has 86 previous convictions – not something he’s at all proud of.”
Magistrates gave Hewitt, of Grey Terrace, in Ryhope, Sunderland, an absolute discharge.