"Professional thief" jailed for 18 months - St Albans


Shoplifter Alex Chivers was told by a Judge today, Tuesday, 30 July 2013 that he is a "professional thief who accepts prison as an occupational hazard."

Chivers, aged 32 from Waltham Cross, was jailed for 18 months at St Albans Crown Court for a catalogue of offences.

On 23 December last year he had stolen 10 box sets of fragrances from Boots in Bishop's Stortford, worth £388.  He was caught on the same day with £1,125 worth of trousers that had been stolen from Marks and Spencer in Bury St Edmunds.

When police stopped the car he was a passenger and Chivers tried to blame the driver.

Prosecutor Alex Krikler said on 18 May he was again arrested in Hertford after trying to steal three bottles of champagne.

At 4.45 in the afternoon of 31 May he stole £1,249 worth of shavers from Boots at Stowmarket, Suffolk . Two days later he took 18 dresses, worth £855,  from Marks and Spencer in Epping High Street. He was caught on CCTV.

Chivers had been banned from going into The Pavilions shopping centre in Waltham Cross as part of an  Anti Social Behaviour  Order (ASBO) passed in 2009 in an attempted to shop him shoplifting. He was caught in the centre on 5 July this year. He said he was not going to the shops but was merely passing through.

Chivers of Berkley Avenue, Waltham Cross, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, one of attempted theft, one of possessing criminal property and being in breach of an ASBO. He had 73 previous convictions for 164 offences.

Defence barrister Ginish Thanki said: "The simple reason for these offences is addiction to all kinds of drugs - heroin and prescription drugs." He said Chivers was a "very troubled man."

His attempt to have the case adjourned for a Drug Rehabilitation Assessment was rejected by the Judge who said he had been given a chance.

Recorder Patrick Fields told him: "You set out to steal as much as you could in the shortest period of time - something at which you were highly expert.

"You are a professional thief who accepts prison as an occupational hazard and are someone who fails to respond to non -custodial sentences."

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