POLICE clamping down on Christmas thieves are delighted after a Crewe shoplifter was jailed for six months less than 24 hours after being caught.
Officers say the sentence highlights the effectiveness of a campaign to cut the number of thefts from shops, and the fact that courts take a serious view of shoplifting.
Jamie Lyons, 24, of Walthall Street in Crewe admitted five offences of stealing goods from shops and had 19 similar offences taken into consideration. He was arrested on Thursday and was sentenced by South Cheshire Magistrates in Crewe the following day.
Detective Sergeant Pete Sweeney, who is in charge of the investigation team at Crewe, said: 'It shows just how speedily our Neighbourhood Policing Units can deal with offences of this type.
'We are able to put offenders into court very quickly with full details of their offences and history.It means the magistrates have all the facts to make a proper decision about the sentence.
'During this pre-Christmas period in particular we target local shoplifters, pickpockets and vehicle crime specialists and any groups we believe are coming into the area to commit these types of crimes.
'We have a lot of help from SCOOT - the Stamp Crime Out Of Town organisation - which links shops by radio, and from CCTV.'
Mr Sweeney added: 'Plain clothes officers are out there in the shops and they are making arrests.
'Last year most of the regular shoplifters in Crewe and Nantwich spent Christmas in prison. That will certainly happen again this year.'