A SHOPLIFTER who fled through the grounds of a Wigan primary school and hid under a bed after stealing from three stores in 15 days has been jailed.
Thief David Scriven targeted the First Stop convenience store and Lidl supermarket in Pemberton as well as a Tesco Express store in Gidlow Lane.
But Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how he resorted to extreme measures in a bid to evade capture.
Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said the 36-year-old was clocked stealing bacon and coffee - worth £51 - from Tesco on March 20 and was subsequently chased by the manager. He only managed to get away after scaling a garden fence before running off through the grounds of Beech Hill Primary School.
But Scriven was finally tracked down after police identified him courtesy of the in-store CCTV footage and spotted him entering his girlfriend’s house.
They found him hiding under a bed in the spare bedroom.
It then came to light that Scriven, of Falkirk Grove, Norley, had committed two other shoplifting offences in the previous fortnight. On March 5, he had stolen bottles of wine worth £25 from the First Stop convenience store, despite being challenged by the shopkeeper.
And on March 13, Scriven had stolen pork joints worth £29 from the Lidl store.
In interview Scriven, who tested positive for cocaine and opiates, made full and frank admissions.
He explained that he had wanted to sell the items to buy drugs and simply didn’t have the money to buy them.
Glen Wrigley, defending, argued that it was low level shoplifting and that his client deserved credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity.
He added that Scriven’s record of dishonesty did him no favours but argued that the best way to stop his client from re-offending was to give him the support he needed to tackle his drug problem.
Magistrates jailed Scriven for 28 days for each offence - a total of 84 days.