Asbo for Witchford shoplifter with string of convictions

Michael King

Michael King - Credit: Archant

A PROLIFIC shoplifter has been banned from entering a number of shops in Ely.

Michael King, 32, of Orton Drive, Witchford, has been made subject of a two-year anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) in a bid to stop his offending.

King appeared in Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 7, after he had pleaded guilty to a series of thefts from stores in the city.

The court heard King had a string of convictions, dating back to 2000. In the past two years he has stolen from 10 different shops in Ely, targeting some businesses repeatedly. In 2012 alone he racked up 16 convictions.

The Asbo prohibits King from entering the following shops where he has committed multiple thefts:


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• Boots Chemist, Market Street

• Spar / Premier Shop, High Street

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• Waitrose, The Cloisters

• Sainsbury’s Lisle Lane

• BP Garage associated shop and forecourt in Witchford Road

Anti-social behaviour co-ordinator for East Cambridgeshire Community Safety Partnership Brian Tully said: “At first glance this may seem an unusual Asbo because it relates mainly to crime. However, the effect on our community is significant and there is a wider impact.

“Shoplifting affects us all because it means that the cost of goods in the shops increases to reflect the losses from theft. Michael King has become known to many shop staff in Ely and his very presence can be intimidating. The purpose of anti-social behaviour legislation is to protect the community and we are doing so by keeping this thief out of shops where he has offended most frequently.”

Ely-based Chief Inspector Russ Waterston said: “We applied for the order to protect the retail community and help the community at large. We have had success with two previous shoplifting Asbos affecting not only Ely but also certain shops in Burwell, Fordham and Littleport, and we will pursue any future cases similarly.

“There is also the opportunity to extend the terms of the Asbo if the offending moves to other locations.”

Barry Lonsdale, Chair of Ely Traders Association, said: “Almost every shop in Ely is affected in some way by shoplifting. Apart from the sheer unpleasantness of having to challenge a suspected thief, the consequences for some of us – especially independents – can be serious in terms of the effect on our livelihood. We simply can’t afford the losses.”

Breaches of Asbo, as with any crime or anti-social behaviour, should be reported to police via 101.

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