Woman who stole 900 designer handbags snared in Cwmbran
2:22pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in News
A WOMAN who carried out a "campaign of shoplifting" by stealing more than 900 designer handbags from across the UK was caught red-handed thanks to Cwmbran shop staff, a court heard.
Jayne Rand, 48, of Clardon Lane, Swindon, admitted stealing 905 handbags and four purses from House of Fraser and various retail businesses, between December 2009 and December 2012, when she appeared before Newport Crown Court yesterday.
Included was one handbag from House of Fraser in Cwmbran, on December 3, 2012, two from the Bristol branch of House of Fraser and two from its store in Bath.
Rand also admitted converting criminal assets from 838 handbags.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told the court: "The defendant was only caught because people in Cwmbran happen to be quite diligent. She was caught red-handed with a handbag and in her car were two handbags stolen earlier that day. The evidence is overwhelming."
Andrew Taylor, mitigating, said Rand was a woman of previous good character and requested a pre-sentence report to be prepared by probation.
David Wooler, prosecuting, said that a financial investigation had been looking into the case for some time and the amount of money received by the defendant was in excess of £80,000, in relation to the 838 handbags.
"They do not know the precise details of the handbags so they have estimated what the figure would be, it's in excess of £130,000," he said. "That does not take into account if there is a mark-up."
Judge Rowlands said: "This lady has pleaded guilty to a campaign of shoplifting. For all intents and purposes she has carried out a business, and we are talking about tens of thousands of pounds. It will be a custodial sentence of some length."
He told Rand it was an unusual offence and adjourned the matter for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Rand was released on conditional bail, to keep appointments with probation, and will return to either Newport or Cardiff Crown Coufrt on October 18 for sentencing.
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