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Shoplifter jailed after threatening shop staff in Faversham and Sittingbourne with a knife and needle

A serial shoplifter threatened staff with a needle and a knife.

Lucille Willett, 29, was "blatant in her approach" in targetting stores in Faversham and Sittingbourne and intimidating workers - and even returned to the same shop three times in one day to steal alcohol.

Lucille Willett has been jailed after being found guilty of 14 offences. Picture: Kent Police
Lucille Willett has been jailed after being found guilty of 14 offences. Picture: Kent Police

Willett, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to 14 offences in June last year and was sentenced to 19 months' imprisonment at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday.

At about 7pm on June 12, Willett went into Sainsbury's in the Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, and filled her bag with with boxes of baby formula milk.

As she went to leave she was confronted by a member of staff who tried to take the bag from her.

But Willett then pulled out a needle and told the shop worker to let her go or she would stab him with it.

She then proceeded to swipe at the victim with the needle, before leaving the store with the goods.

Then just days later on June 18, Willett threatened a shop security guard with a knife before stealing 13 bottles of alcohol from Morrisons in North Lane, Faversham.

"Willett targeted shops across Swale and was quite blatant in her approach..." - PC Brian Mitchell

She went on to commit a further 10 shoplifting offences in stores across the town, swiping alcohol, cosmetics, clothing and bathing products.

During one of the incidents, on June 27 at a store in Preston Street, she assaulted a member of staff by hitting her in the face before running away with stolen products in her bag.

Willett was arrested later that day after she was spotted by officers in St Nicholas Road.

She was charged with threatening another with a bladed article, possession of a blade, assault and 11 charges of theft between June 12 and 27.

Investigating officer, PC Brian Mitchell of North Division CID said: "Willett targeted shops across Swale and was quite blatant in her approach.

"She threatened staff with weapons in order to steal whatever she wanted.

"During one incident she returned to the same shop three times on the same day in order to steal alcohol.

"Thankfully we were able to identify her and put a stop to her relentless offending so she no longer poses a threat to shops in the area and, most importantly, their staff members."

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