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Shoplifter jailed after string of Nottinghamshire thefts

A shoplifter has been jailed after he was tracked down by police.

Matthew Clay, aged 53, was wanted in connection with a string of thefts at a Mansfield supermarket over the last three months.

Clay, who had been wanted for several weeks, was arrested by officers on Tuesday last week and was charged with five counts of shoplifting.

He pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday ( 14 December ) and was jailed for ten months.

Clay, of Sharratt Court, Mansfield, was also ordered to pay £250 in compensation.

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PC Ryan Ward, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Shoplifting offences have a significant impact on local businesses and won’t be tolerated in Mansfield.

“Clay stole alcohol, electrical goods and other items worth many hundreds of pounds and I am pleased he has now been brought to justice.

“I also hope this very strong sentence sends out a clear message to others who think they can take what they want from local businesses: we will track you down and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

The sentence comes as the Mansfield neighbourhood policing team continues its anti-shoplifting campaign in the town centre.

The team now keeps a rolling cohort of the five most prolific shop thieves in the town and works intensively to curtail their actions.

As well as arresting suspects and seeing them prosecuted, officers are also using civil court orders to restrict offenders’ activities and – in some cases – to ban them from the town centre completely.

Inspector Kylie Davies, district commander for Mansfield, said: “We know that a disproportionate number of shop thefts in the town centre come from a relatively small group of people.

“By relentlessly targeting that same group of people we are already seeing some very promising results.

“Several individuals are currently behind bars and others have already been made the subject of restrictive civil court orders.”

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