Thursday, December 7, 2023

Shoplifter who stole six Spider-Man costumes is jailed

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James Edward Cain has been caught up in his own web of crime after being sent to prison for two years and nine months.

The 31-year-old, of no fixed abode, pilfered the six costumes – worth £240 – from Rockbottom Toystore in the Marlands Shopping Centre on Tuesday, June 20 this year, along with a laptop.

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It was one of a string of offences committed by the wannabe webslinger in the city centre, which he was sentenced for at Southampton Crown Court on Monday, dating back to a spree on September 13 last year. 

Cain stole a make up bag worth £76 from Boots in Westquay, and assaulted two security guards who asked him to leave the shopping centre.

Both men suffered minor injuries and the makeup bag was recovered.

That same day, he also assaulted two security staff, both men in their 30s, at the Co-op Welcome store on Harbour. Neither were badly injured.

On Wednesday, February 2, this year, Cain stole two irons from John Lewis in West Quay worth £680 and a few months later on Thursday, July 13, Cain stole £50 of alcohol from Asda on Portland Terrace.

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Aside from shoplifting-related crimes in the city centre, Cain was also jailed for a terrifying home burglary on 10 June.

Cain broke into a woman’s house on Shakespeare Avenue while she was in, stealing her personal belongings including a handbag, wallet, jewellery, headphones, cosmetics and her bank card.

The woman, in her 20s, was left shaken by the terrifying incident on 10 June but was not injured.

Officers were alerted when her bank card was used in Game Nation on Portswood High Street, and they found her ID card and bus pass in the toilet.

Cain pleaded guilty to all the offences, which breached an existing suspended sentence.

Detective Constable Jess Swift, who led the investigation, said: “Cain’s offending has been persistent and has had a real impact on shop staff, security staff and the victim who’s home he broke into.

“Dwelling burglary is an intrusive and upsetting crime for those involved, which is why we take it seriously and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice. Equally, it is not acceptable that shop and security staff are subjected to criminal behaviour, harassment and abuse when they are simply trying to do their jobs.”

Southampton Central Inspector Tim Williams added: “We will not tolerate this type of criminality in our city centre and the surrounding area, which is why we have now launched our City Centre Unit, dedicated to tackling shoplifting, acquisitive crime, street robbery, anti-social behaviour and vagrancy. We are confident that this will make a difference to those who have been impacted by these crimes and help to strengthen relationships with the Southampton retail and business sector.”

  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary intially said the six stolen outfits were Superman costumes. This was an error and they have since confirmed they were Spider-Man costumes.

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