Serial shoplifter Stephen Swarbrick has been banned from city centre stores after picking up an ASBO at the age of 52.
The habitual thief, who was said in court to have blighted the lives of traders in Lancaster, has been told he will be arrested if he enters any premises in the city’s main shopping area for the next two years.
Magistrates heard Swarbrick, of no fixed abode, was a prolific shoplifter who intimidated shop staff and used threatening behaviour when confronted about stealing.
Under the conditions of the ASBO Swarbrick is banned from entering all retail premises within an area defined on a specific map and prohibited from causing harassment, alarm or distress to any person in Lancaster.
Police said they had been working hard to gather evidence for the court case and take the necessary long-term action required to deal with him.
“We are committed to making sure Lancaster is not blighted by this type of behaviour and we will continue to use tactics such as ASBOs to improve the quality of life for local residents,” said Lancaster city centre beat manager PC Chris Smith. “This ASBO has provided the necessary reprieve that the shop keepers and workers truly deserve from a habitual thief. The order will last for two years and should any breaches occur we will most certainly be looking to extend this back at the magistrates court.”
Swarbrick will now feature in a leaflet campaign which will be distributed to shops in Lancaster city centre.