Wakefield suitcase thief jailed for over five years

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A prolific thief who stole multiple suitcases from train services across the county has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Christopher Stewart, 32, of Arundel Close, Wakefield, appeared before Leeds Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to 13 counts of theft.

As part of the sentencing, the judge took into consideration 23 other theft offences on train services.

Stewart was arrested by plain clothes officers in November 2017, who had been deployed following a spate of thefts on Wakefield Westgate to Leeds train services.

Officers watched Stewart board the train without any bags and go to pick up a suitcase at the next stop, which he admitted wasn’t his when challenged.

When they arrested him he was wearing a £500 designer coat, which he’d stolen from a suitcase on a previous journey.

The value of all of the property stolen on trains by Stewart between September and November 2017 amounted to approximately £30,000, and it is believed he sold a large amount of his haul online.

The court heard that a search of Stewart’s home found a variety of his victim’s possessions including an electronic tablet, an electric toothbrush, hair straighteners and jewellery.

In his police interview, Stewart admitted his actions were “100 per cent dishonest”.

DC Tony McGibbon said: "I am pleased we were able to bring Stewart to justice, and that his custodial sentence reflects the seriousness of his offending.

"He had total disregard for his victims and their property, stealing £30,000 worth of other people’s items for his own financial gain.

"I hope this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others who may consider similar behaviour; we will find you and we will bring you before the courts."