Ipswich: Sainsbury’s duped into giving banned shoplifter a job

RED-faced Sainsbury’s managers today admitted employing a shoplifter at the store he stole from despite hitting him with a national ban from its shops.

The company – which has now rescinded Vishal Patel’s job offer – claimed it was his fault as he failed to draw their attention to his convictions.

The 24-year-old from Ipswich, who said he believed he only had a 12-month ban from Sainsbury’s, was arrested on suspicion of targeting the store five times in three weeks last year.

Mr Patel said he had applied for a job at the Warren Heath shop because he was desperate for a chance to be able to pay off debts. His criminal past was exposed when senior staff were alerted while he was on a training day.

Ipswich magistrates gave Mr Patel an eight-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months in May last year, after he admitted stealing a bottle of Jack Daniels worth �36.79 from Warren Heath Sainsbury’s the previous month.

He was then sent a letter by Sainsbury’s prohibiting him going to its stores or petrol stations.

A spokesman said: “Mr Patel was convicted of crimes and banned from all our stores a year ago.

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“He neglected to mention his banning or convictions on his application form, or at the subsequent interview, and as soon as this came to our attention we rescinded his job offer.”

Mr Patel was arrested on suspicion of stealing from the store on five occasions between March 30 last year and April 19.

On March 30 he allegedly took a bottle of Grey Goose vodka worth �33.69. On April 13 he was accused of stealing a bottle of Jack Daniels worth �36.79. On April 18 he scanned a bottle of wine through a self-service checkout, before making off without paying for a bottle of Jack Daniels.

On April 19 Mr Patel was arrested after going to the Warren Heath petrol station and allegedly putting �10.01 of unleaded petrol in his car before driving off without paying.

He then went into the store and was said to have tried to steal another bottle of Jack Daniels, but was seen by staff who called police.

One source said: “It was totally amazing that he went for a job at place where he had stolen from.”

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