Shoplifter had 'Aladdin's cave' of goods

POLICE discovered an “Aladdin's cave” of stolen property when they searched the home of a woman arrested for shoplifting in Ipswich, a court has heard.

Jane Hunt

POLICE discovered an “Aladdin's cave” of stolen property when they searched the home of a woman arrested for shoplifting in Ipswich, a court has heard.

Clothing and bedding were among �3,000 worth of property stolen by 56-year-old Gin Slater and many of the items were still in their packaging and had shop labels attached, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Most of the stolen property had been taken from Marks & Spencer and Debenhams stores, said Hugh Vass, prosecuting.

Slater, of Norwich Road, Ipswich admitted 10 offences of shoplifting and was ordered to do 200 hours community service.

Also before the court was her estranged husband Robert Slater, 69, of Church Road, Snape, who admitted two offences of shoplifting and one offence of handling stolen goods. He was given a conditional discharge for two years.

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A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing will take place later this month.

The court heard that in February 2007 the defendants tried to leave the Marks & Spencer store in Ipswich without paying for clothing worth �292 and were arrested.

During a search of Gin Slater's home police discovered an “Aladdin's cave” of stolen property and further items worth a couple of hundred pounds, which had been stolen from a shop at Snape Maltings, were found at Robert Slater's home.

Several weeks after their arrest the couple were seen in Debenhams selecting items of clothing, worth �109, and putting them in a shopping bag, said Mr Vass.

On another occasion Gin Slater went to the Tesco store at Martlesham and although she paid for some items she had put in a trolley she failed to pay for further items worth �71 which she had put in a bag.

Lindsay Cox, for Gin Slater, said the value of property stolen by her was in the region of �3,000.

He said that at the time of the offences his client had been suffering from anxiety and depression. All the stolen property had been recovered and there had been no loss to the stores involved.

John Farmer, for Robert Slater, said his client lived off a pension and described his dishonesty as “low level”.