‘I’m not a thief’ says four-time shoplifter

Court news.
Court news.

An offender told his solicitor ‘I’m not a thief’, despite admitting he shoplifted four times in less than four weeks, a court was told.

Vitali Syryca, 36, of Spayne Road, Boston, appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court on Wednesday in relation to four charges of theft and one of having a knife in a public p

Syryca had admitted two of the thefts at earlier hearings and on Wednesday pleaded guilty for the other charges.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, told the court between January 31 and February 23 Syryca stole two bottles of Martini to a total value of £24.58, alcohol to the value of £8, Martini and prawns worth £11.50 and wine and salmon worth £11.81 from either Asda, in Lister Way, or The Co-operative Food, in Wide Bargate.

Following one of the thefts at the Co-op, police found Syryca in possession of a folding pocket knife, Mr Wood said.

He added that Syryca had no previous convictions.

Rachel Stevens, in mitigation, said Syryca was ‘opening his account with a flourish’, but had said to her ‘I’m not a thief’.

She said the defendant, who supports a child in Lithuania, had committed the offences after falling out of work and turning to drink.

She said: “When he gets drunk, he has gone out and stolen more alcohol. The other items are incidental to that.”

She added: “He fully accepts it has got to stop.”

He had the knife on him, she said, as he had used it to cut food at a friend’s house and still had it with him.

Syryca received a community order with a requirement to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work and was ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 in costs. The knife was forfeited.