Crook hid magnets in his boxer shorts to remove security tags from at clothing during shoplifting spree at White Company store in Leeds

A shoplifter was arrested after he was found with magnets in his boxer shorts which he used to remove security tags from clothing at a store in Leeds.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:45 pm

Police found the "improvised item" in Terrence Miles' underwear when he was searched after being detained by security staff as he left the White Company store at Victoria Gate, in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard store staff became concerned when they saw him behaving suspiciously on April 20 this year.

Jade Edwards, prosecuting, said Miles entered the store with a woman who staff recognised as she had stolen items on a previous occasion.

Leeds Crown Court

The pair headed to the back of the store where they were monitored on CCTV cameras.

Ms Edwards said the woman was seen handing items of clothing to Miles which he then rubbed on his groin area before they were returned to hangers.

Miles sat down on a sofa while the woman continued to pass clothing to him.

Miles was again seen on camera rubbing clothing against his groin area.

He was then seen removing a disk and putting it in his trouser pocket.

Ms Edwards said the disk was the counterpart of a security tag.

Miles then hid the disk down the side of the sofa.

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They said they did not need help and went to another part of the store.

They were both detained by security staff as they left but the woman managed to run off.

Police were contacted but Miles was not in possession of any stolen items.

The prosecutor said Miles was searched and a number of magnets were found in his boxer shorts.

The magnets were held together by a metal clamp which also contained a pin.

Ms Edwards said: "It was an improvised item used to remove security tags."

Miles, of Green Street, Liverpool, refused to comment when interviewed by officers.

He pleaded guilty to going equipped for theft.

Kristian Cavanagh, mitigating, said the father-of-five pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

He added: "The defendant is 44 years of age and tells me he is far too old for this type of offending."

Mr Kavanagh said Miles planned to train as a HGV driver if he was spared an immediate prison sentence.

Miles was given a 24-week prison , suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and was made the subject of an electronically-monitored curfew order for two months.

Recorder Anesh Pema told Miles: "You clearly had a plan and you came equipped to engage in that plan.

"You are a man of 44 years of age with an astonishing array of convictions.

"You are a man who could have very little complaint with an immediate sentence of custody."