Prolific Swale Shoplifter Jailed For A Year

Prolific Swale Shoplifter Jailed For A Year

A prolific shoplifter, who repeatedly targeted supermarkets across Swale and stole items totalling around £1,000, has been jailed.

Mark Hewitt was responsible for a catalogue of offences since May 2023, stealing meat and alcohol from shops including Sainsbury’s, Aldi, and Marks and Spencer.

Hewitt, of Crown Quay Lane, Sittingbourne, was initially arrested by Kent Police on Sunday 7th May, as part of the force’s ongoing clampdown on shoplifting. He was charged and released on bail pending a court appearance but continued to steal. He was arrested again on 21 July and charged with further offences. While he was detained, Hewitt caused damage to police property by throwing food and urinating in his cell.

After appearing before court, the 48-year-old was subject to bail conditions prior to sentencing but his crimewave continued. On Saturday 5th August, an off-duty officer witnessed Hewitt committing another theft at a shop in East Street, Sittingbourne and it was later discovered he had taken items from the same store in an earlier incident that day.

Hewitt was arrested and whilst being taken into custody subjected two officers to a tirade of racial abuse. He was remanded to Medway Magistrates’ Court and sentenced on Monday 7th August, having pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, two counts of racially aggravated harassment, and two counts of criminal damage. Hewitt was jailed for a year and fined almost £200.

Sergeant John Sangster, of the Swale Victim Based Crime Team, told SFM News: "Shoplifting has a detrimental impact on businesses and the local community and Kent Police takes all reports of such offences seriously. Hewitt repeatedly targeted stores in areas including Faversham, Sittingbourne and Queenborough and subjected our officers to abhorrent and unacceptable abuse. He is a career criminal who has shown no remorse for his actions. This sentence is just another example of our crackdown on shop thieves in the district, which has seen 73 charges authorised in June and July. We are continuing to focus on tackling anti-social behaviour, including shoplifting, as part of the force's ongoing Safer Summer initiative."

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