`

Serial Sunderland shoplifter banned from city's major shopping centres and retail parks

Claire Michelle MacGarva.
Claire Michelle MacGarva.

A serial shoplifter has been banned from setting foot in retail parks and shopping centres across Wearside .

Claire Michelle MacGarva, 38, has committed a string of thefts from shops and businesses in Sunderland city centre.

The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.

The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland.

Her frequent and widespread offending has led to several custodial sentences, as well as drug rehabilitation orders and supervision, in a bid to keep her out of trouble.

Following her most recent conviction last month, MacGarva was handed a Criminal Behaviour Order after being found guilty in her absence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The order bans her from entering Hylton Riverside Retail Park, Pallion Retail Park, Roker Retail Park and The Bridges Shopping Centre.

She is already barred from more than 70 premises in the city centre as part of the Sunderland Shopwatch scheme.

Pallion Retail Park.

Pallion Retail Park.

The order, which will run until September 2020, follows a number of convictions for shoplifting over the last few years.

If breached, MacGarva, of no fixed abode, faces a further prison sentence.

Inspector Don Wade, of Northumbria Police, said: “MacGarva has been a thorn in the side for police and city centre businesses for some time.

"Her offending has resulted in a string of shoplifting convictions and has caused a great deal of distress to our traders.

“I hope this two-year order, which bans her from setting foot in many of our shopping centres and retail parks, will finally put a stop to her harmful behaviour.

“I’d now urge the public and retailers to help enforce it.

"If anybody sees MacGarva in the city centre in any of those areas from which she is now banned, police want to hear about it.

"This order will provide police and the courts with even greater powers to deal with her, should she reoffend.

"Shoplifting is being dealt with more and more by security at the shops themselves but this case shows that we will still take robust action when appropriate.

“We want people to come to Sunderland to have an enjoyable shopping experience, and we hope our ongoing efforts to shelve shoplifting will go some way to making sure this is the case.”

The order followed MacGarva’s most recent conviction on August 8 for three shoplifting offences.

Anyone who sees her in the above areas is asked to call 101 quoting reference 0707790 or speak to an officer on patrol.