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Professional shoplifter David Kelman receives six month prison sentence
A PROFESSIONAL shoplifter with more than 200 convictions has been jailed for six months after he targeted York twice in the space of six weeks.
David Andrew Kelman and a female accomplice stole clothes on May 28 and July 9 last year, but were caught red-handed by police.
The pair hid six stolen Karen Millen dresses in River Island carrier bags behind a wall in Museum Gardens on May 28 last year, Patricia Doherty, prosecuting, told York Crown Court.
But two young men were watching them, and they retrieved the bags and returned the dresses, worth £1,035, to the store. Staff checked CCTV and found the two thieves caught on camera.
Kelman and the woman got back to Cleveland, but returned to York on July 9.
Their description was circulated after they were spotted in Parliament Street near Brown’s and they were followed as they toured New Look, Warehouse and Blacks, all in the city centre, before going to the Museum Gardens, where they hid four bags behind a stone wall.
Police closed in and found in the bags ladies’ clothes and waterproof jackets stolen from the three stores.
The pair were caught red-handed with stolen items worth £199.90 from New Look, £379.98 from Blacks, and £571 from Warehouse.
Kelman, 37, of Mohan Court, Park End, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft worth together £2,185.88 and was jailed for six months. Judge Roger Ibbotson said: “I am quite satisfied these were shoplifting expeditions which you undertook deliberately.
“Having travelled from Teesside to York you, having stolen property on each occasion, hid the bags and that has all the hallmarks of a professional shopping spree.”
Kelman had 209 previous convictions including 143 for theft committed over more than 20 years.
His barrister, Rachel Dyson, said he had health problems but had managed to hold down a job in personal fitness and training for a year until his employer became aware of his convictions and he lost his job.
The court heard the two men who originally tipped off the city centre stores to the shoplifters had declined to give their names.