Published: 00:01, 27 April 2014
A thief was caught on CCTV creeping through a town centre shop and stealing the owner’s purse before going on to another shop and stealing cash ready for the bank.
Alexander Steine, 40, targeted Maison Classique in William Street and Nessie’s Baby and Wool store in Herne Bay High Street on Friday, March 28.
Footage from Maison Classique shows him skulking around near the front desk before rifling through it when he thought no one was looking.
Owner Linda Cameron thought she had lost her purse, but got a nasty surprise when she saw the images.
She said “He had come into the shop and I thought he was looking for a Mother’s Day present.
“When I was kneeling down in the shop he was behind me and looking at what I was doing. When I went to the front of the shop he saw his window of opportunity.
“He stole my purse, which I had left under the counter. It contained a significant amount of cash, all my cards and my driving licence.
“It was only two hours later that I noticed something was wrong. I couldn’t find my purse anywhere.
“I retraced my steps and knew I had brought it with me to the shop. It was then I checked the CCTV and was shocked to see it.
“I was conned and I feel violated.”
Later in the afternoon Steine went into Vanessa Moyes’s shop in the High Street and tried to distract her.
She said: “He said he had an item left by a friend for him and asked me to check the drawers at front of the shop.
“I did, and by the time I turned round he was by the door. He must have gone up to the till and stolen the money I had ready to take to the bank.
“It’s caused big trouble. I had to cancel orders I had put through to make sure there was nothing in my account outstanding. I had to let my customers down.
“I was conned and I feel violated" - shop owner Linda Cameron
“I worked blinking hard for what I do to build this shop up from nothing. I think he is a scumbag.”
Steine, of Hollicondane Road in Ramsgate, appeared before Canterbury Magistrates Court on Thursday, April 10, and pleaded guilty to burglary.
He was given a 120-day prison sentence suspended for two years, dependent on him completing a drug rehabilitation course.
Magistrates also ordered him to pay £1,300 in compensation to the two shop owners.
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