SHOPLIFTER Billy Jamieson might have thought York would be a soft touch. He was wrong.

The 21-year-old drug addict and two accomplices travelled to York from Newcastle by train especially to go shoplifting in the city centre.

They were spotted by street rangers as they ran out of TK Maxx in Coney Street carrying more than £1,100 worth of handbags.

The three ran into an 87-year-old woman in the street, knocking her over, before being apprehended.

In the dock at York Crown Court Jamieson gave a noticeable gasp when York’s top judge, Honorary Recorder of York Paul Batty, sentenced him to 32 months in prison.

But Judge Batty wasn’t finished He went on to warn the addict, who had been out of prison on licence at the time of the offence, to stay away from York.

“Bad things happen to thieves who travel to York to commit crime,” the judge told Jamieson.

“I suggest in future you stay out of York.”

It is a warning we suspect Jamieson will take to heart when he does finally get out of jail.

And it is a warning other shoplifters should heed, too.

Judge Batty has made it clear that there will be zero tolerance in York for this kind of crime.

With street rangers on patrol in the city centre to help the police, the message couldn’t be clearer: shoplifting doesn’t pay in York.