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Shoplifter is sent to jail — after his 198th offence

A SERIAL shoplifter has finally been jailed — after racking up 198 offences and 87 court appearances.

Thomas Mellor (pictured), 38, was sentenced to 15 months after stealing £6,250 of spirits in six months, using a technique he’d wheeled out for most of his previous 150 theft convictions.His scam was to fill a trolley with expensive alcohol hidden under cheap snacks, push it to the shop entrance, then abandon it.

He would sneak back into the store, wheel the trolley out and load his stash into a car.

The drug addict from Coleshill, Warwickshire, admitted 15 charges of theft between last November and April 17 this year. He was caught for the final time on the day he was due in court on a previous offence. Sentencing him at Warwick crown court, judge Peter Cooke said: ‘You have spent pretty well your whole life doing this. You are just a thorough pest to any store owner. The only thing that’s going to make you stop is the realisation that sentences are going to get longer and longer.’