Mother jailed for years of bag theft
6:00pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A MOTHER-OF-TWO who lived a double life stealing designer handbags in a £200,000 three-year spree has been jailed for 18 months.
Jayne Rand, 48, targeted expensive Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Radley handbags and purses, often from House of Fraser stores across the UK.
The housewife would walk in to shops without a handbag then leave with a stolen designer brand after removing the security tag.
Rand, of Clardon Lane, Purton, operated secretly for three years, carrying on her criminal activity without her husband or children knowing.
Britain’s biggest bag thief was caught by a security guard during a shopping trip to Cwmbran, South Wales, last December, and her criminal double life quickly unravelled.
She was sentenced at Newport Crown Court yesterday by judge Rhys Rowlands, who told her: “You made a business of stealing, you must take the consequences.”
Rand was caught with two expensive designer handbags in her car after her arrest in South Wales at the end of last year.
When officers searched her home, they recovered at least another 50 designer handbags mostly from Radley.
But the full extent of her criminal activity was revealed when police examined CCTV footage from other stores she had targeted.
Rand travelled the country during her three-year spree, visiting shopping centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool.
The court previously heard that the 905 designer handbags and purses she admitted stealing were worth £135,000 wholesale.
Their combined retail value would have been £200,000 after stores added their own profit percentage to the price.
Rand’s shoplifting spree lasted from December 2009 to December 2012.
She converted the stolen goods to cash by selling the bags on eBay. She made £88,000 as the bags were napped up at around half the normal price by eager buyers unaware that they were stolen items.
Rand also admitted converting criminal assets from 838 handbags.
Police are now looking closely at Rand’s remaining assets to ensure she does not benefit from her criminal lifestyle when she is released from prison.
David Wooler, of the Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said: “Jayne Rand is an unusually prolific shoplifter, responsible for a very large number of thefts from stores around the country over a prolonged period.
“She was finally brought to justice thanks to eagle-eyed staff at the House of Fraser store in Cwmbran.
“When police searched her car and home, the scale of her criminal activities quickly became clear.
“Through proceeds of crime legislation, we are now actively seeking to ensure that Jayne Rand is not able to retain any financial benefit from her criminality.”