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Walsall shoplifter stolen goods worth almost £2,000 in spree


Jun 6, 2022

A “professional shoplifter” has avoided being sent to prison after being given a suspended jail term

Toby Arrowsmith, 31, of Brownhills, was warned that he was being given one last chance to change his ways as he was sentenced for carrying out eight shop thefts across the region.


He admitted theft of goods including cosmetics and toys from a string of retail stores between January 25 and May 28. Sentencing him Judge Graham Wilkinson said the defendant resumed his offending behaviour only the day after being released from prison on January 21 for committing similar crimes.

Arrowsmith, of Tamar Close, struck at sites including Savers in Walsall, snatching items valuing more than £900 on January 22 and 25. At toy store Smyths, in Crown Wharf Retail Park, in Wolverhampton Street, Walsall, goods worth more than £110 were snatched by the defendant on March 9.

Items he stolen valuing more than £200 from Wilkinsons on January 23 and March 18; items valuing more than £60 from Boots on April 24 and 29. He carried out the latest theft from Co-op on May 28, stealing goods valuing £310.

Judge Wilkinson said: “He carried out these thefts sometimes with his partner and sometimes secreted items in a pushchair without any children in it or on his person.”

The court heard that the defendant had tested positive for opiates and that he was jailed for 32 weeks last year, also for shop theft, before being released on January 21. The court also heard that the defendant had attended just two of 18 probation appointments.

Mitgating on his behalf Mr Brij Choudhary told the court that his client had “drug issues” and that his actions had “clearly crossed the custody threshold”.

The judge replied: “He is a professional shoplifter – that’s what he does.”

Addressing Arrowsmith the judge said: “The most important thing you can do is to thank Mr Choudhary for his comments on your behalf. The second thing you need to do is to see probation and start getting some help.

“At the moment you are on the road to killing yourself – or you are going to be locked up for longer and longer periods, although it would give these shops a break from you.”

He sentenced him to six weeks jail on each count totalling 11 months in custody suspended for for two years, with 11 months supervision order, 36 rehabilitation activity days, a six-month drug rehabilitation order plus electronic tag curfew for six months between 6pm and 6am. He must £156 victims’ surcharge.

There was no order for costs or compensation.

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