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Thief banned from 27 East Lancashire stores
A ‘PERSISTENT’ shoplifter has been banned from 27 stores across East Lancashire, and from shopping in Blackburn town centre.
Shop owners said Diane Caswell would frequently target stores, sometimes filling numerous bags with items, including toys and toileteries.
The 38-year-old, of Briar Road, Blackburn, was given an anti-social behaviour order as she was convicted of seven counts of shoplifting. A further nine were also taken into consideration by Blackburn magistrates.
The action comes as police recorded an increase in shoplifting in Blackburn and Darwen.
They said that in the six months up to October 2012, there were 620 cases. The number rose to 659 during the same period this year.
Officers said they were targeting another four prolific shoplifters in a bid to bring down the number of cases.
Inspector Abid Khan, from Blackburn with Darwen Police, said: “We are really pleased that this ASBO has been issued.
“It is unfair on the majority of the paying public that a minority targets these shops bec-ause they think they can get away with it.
“We are determined to do as much as we can to bring them to justice, and put conditions on them.”
Caswell is not allowed to go into Blackburn’s town centre shopping area unless it is for pre-arranged dental appointments for herself, or her children, or to go to meetings with her solicitors, the probation service, or the community drugs team.
The ASBO will last for two years.
David Marsden, owner of Cowgills, of Clitheroe, one of the stores Caswell has been barred from, said CCTV images had shown her with two girls filling four bags with toys.
He said: “When I saw the pictures, I could not believe it. I could not believe somebody could be so brazen.
“I agree with her being given an ASBO. It sets an example to other would-be shoplifters.
“Shoplifting causes a loss to us, and people think they have some kind of right to take things.”
Caswell, who lives in a semi-detached house, was described as a ‘neighbour from hell’ by residents in Briar Road, who said she would frequently cause problems.
Carol Short, 53, said: “They have been there just over a year. At first, it was quiet and then in the summer, it all started.
“They go in people’s gardens, playing tennis across the fen-ces. I am fed up of putting up with it. They are a nightmare.”
Another neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “They are very noisy and a lot of the neighbours have beencomplaining.”
- Debenhams, Northgate, Blackburn
- Morrisons, Railway Road, Blackburn
- Mothercare, Grimshaw Retail Park, Blackburn
- B&M Bargains, Grimshaw Retail Park, Blackburn
- Asda, Grimshaw Retail Park, Blackburn
- Next, Great Bolton Street, Blackburn
- Boots, Cobden Court, Blackburn
- Boots, Townsmoor Retail Park, Blackburn
- Superdrug, Stoneybutts, Blackburn
- Next, Victoria Court, Blackburn
- Matalan, Lower Audley Street, Blackburn
- BHS, King William Street, Blackburn
- Sports Soccer, King William Street, Blackburn
- Cowgills, Market Place, Clitheroe
- Booths, Station Road, Clitheroe
- Boots, Castle Street, Clitheroe
- Tesco, Duck Street, Clitheroe
- W.H.Smiths, Clitheroe
- Sainsbury’s, Hardman Way, Darwen
- Co-Op, Church Street, Darwen
- Co-Op, Blackburn Road, Darwen
- Boots, Market Street, Darwen
- Boots, Pendle Rise Shopping Centre, Nelson
- Wilkinson's, Pendle Rise Shopping Centre, Nelson
- Bodycare, Arndale Centre, Accrington
- Wilkinson’s, Market Way, Accrington
- Matalan, Hyndburn Road, Accrington
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