Handbag thief jailed for 18 months
11:50am Friday 18th October 2013 in Latest News
A PURTON woman caught who shoplifted 905 designer handbags has been jailed for 18 months.
Jayne Rand, 48, of Clardon Lane, stole 905 handbags and four purses from House of Fraser and various retail businesses, between December 2009 and December 2012.
The housewife would walk in to shops without a handbag then coolly leave with a stolen designer brand after simply removing the security tag.
Rand 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 today 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, largely Radley, designer handbags.
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 Rand admitted stealing were worth around £135,000 wholesale.
Their combined retail value would have been about £200,000 after stores added their own profit percentage to the price.
Rand's shoplifting spree ran from December 2009 to December 2012. She converted the stolen goods to cash by selling on the bags on internet auction site eBay.
She made £88,000 selling the designer handbags which were snapped 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, Crown Advocate for 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."