Desperate Derbyshire thief stole suitcases to sell because she was struggling with her benefits

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate thief who was struggling without benefits was caught stealing two suitcases to help her raise some money.

Alison Parkes, 43, of Minimum Terrace, Boythorpe, Chesterfield, stole the suitcases from TJ Hughes but was caught by a suspicious police officer who came across Parkes outside Debenham’s.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on March 19: “A police officer came across two brand new suitcases at the side of Debenham’s with their security items attached and they were traced back to TJ Hughes and it was confirmed they were missing.”

CCTV footage also showed Miss Parkes leaving TJ Hughes with the two suitcases, according to Mrs Allsop, and she admitted committing the theft to police and she apologised.

Parkes, who has previous convictions including shop thefts, pleaded guilty to stealing the suitcases after the incident on February 19.

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The probation service stated that Parkes, who has had drug issues, had committed the theft to get essentials like food.

Defence solicitor John Wilford said Parkes intended to get money for the suitcases because there has been a gap in her benefit payments while she has been waiting to move to Universal Credit.

Magistrates sentenced Parkes to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

She was also fined £40 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.