Woman who ran business by shoplifting 905 designer handbags jailed
4:33pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A WOMAN who ran a business through a “campaign” of shoplifting designer handbags worth around £135,000 in total was jailed at Newport Crown Court today.
Mother-of-two Jayne Rand was caught by “eagle-eyed” staff at House of Fraser in Cwmbran, bringing an end to a three-year spree of stealing 905 handbags from shops around the UK.
The court heard Rand, of Clardon Lane, Swindon, would enter a handbag shop without a bag, pick up one from the display, walk around with it on her shoulder and finally leave still carrying it.
Sometimes she had to remove the tags but often this was not necessary.
David Wooler, prosecuting, said: The defendant went into House of Fraser in the afternoon of December 3. She was seen by the manager to select a Radley handbag from the display. He was concerned about what she might be up to.
“When she emerged from the changing room the handbag was no longer to be seen. There was a Radley handbag missing from the display and it was not in the changing room.
“Accordingly the police were called. Initially she said she knew nothing whatsoever about any stolen handbag but then produced the Radley bag to the officer.”
Four further handbags were then found in Rand’s car, worth £175 to £200 each.
Police then found a stash of handbags in Rand’s garage, mostly Radley, worth £12,000.
Rand made money from the handbags by selling them on eBay, notching up 838 sales, mostly to buyers with no idea they were buying stolen property.
The court heard that occasionally Rand would steal a bag to order.
Department stores were estimated to have lost around £88,000 from the thefts.
Andrew Taylor, defending, said Rand felt she had to steal the bags as the property business she ran with her husband was in difficulties following the recession and believed her thefts might be able to “keep the ship afloat”.
Rand was becoming addicted to shoplifting, he added: “She almost became immune to the feeling of wrong-doing that should have been visited upon a person in her predicament.”
Judge Rhys Rowlands said: “It is both sad and unusual to see a woman of 48 of previous good character before the court having accepted responsibility for such a protracted and serious dishonesty.
“Quite how you got away with it for so long without being caught is truly remarkable.”
Mr Wooler said after the sentencing: “Through proceeds of crime legislation, we are now actively seeking to ensure that Jayne Rand is not able to retain any financial benefit from her criminality.”
Rand admitted the charges of shoplifting and converting criminal property between December 2009 and December 2012.
She was sentenced to two concurrent 18 month prison sentences. A hearing to recover profits from Rand’s crimes was adjourned until March.
Comments are closed on this article.