A 25-year-old man from St Helens has been jailed for theft and assault following an incident at a Matalan store.
Anthony Halliwell, of Pheonix Brow, was found guilty of stealing £100 worth of towels from the store on Watts Clift Way on Thursday 11November. As he ran out of the shop he pushed a staff member out of the way, causing her to fall to the floor and bang her head.
Halliwell managed to escape but was identified on CCTV footage by local community officers. He was arrested and later charged for the offences.
He received an 18-week prison sentence at Wirral Adult Remand Court on 26 November.
Community Inspector Emma Haffenden said: “Business thefts are not victimless crimes, and in this case a member of the community who was simply trying to earn a living and providing an important service has found herself being assaulted at her place of work.
“I hope his arrest and this result in court shows how seriously Merseyside Police takes such offences.
“We have extra officers on the streets of St Helens to make the public and staff at retail businesses feel safe and reassured.
“We always step up patrols in the run up to Christmas, as part of Operation Shepherd, which historically we see a rise in crimes such as burglary, robbery, domestic violence and drink or drug driving. It’s also normal to see an increased police presence in busy locations including shopping centres, Christmas markets and other popular attractions because, as recent events have shown, the threat from terrorism has not gone away.
“We want everyone to have an enjoyable Christmas and not be ruined by unacceptable behaviour from a small minority of individuals.
“If you have any information regarding theft or anti-social behaviour please contact or speak to our officers.” Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can pass any information on anti-social behaviour via our social media desk @MerPolCC on Twitter or 'Merseyside Police Contact Centre' on Facebook. You can also contact the independent charity Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: Give information | Crimestoppers (crimestoppers-uk.org). You can also follow @MerPolStHelens on Twitter and Facebook for updates and advice.