‘Professional shoplifter’ from Nelson sent to prison

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A 24-year-old woman described as a professional shoplifter has been jailed for four months.

And her accomplice on a trip to Blackburn where they were caught stealing from two town centre stores has been warned she also faces a prison sentence.

Ramonda Lapinskaite (24), of Larch Street, Nelson, and Ausra Ignatavicivte (34), of Every Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to stealing fragrances worth £270 from Debenhams and cosmetics worth £59 from Superdrug when they appeared before Blackburn magistrates.

Lapinskaite was jailed for eight weeks for the offences and a further eight weeks for being breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed for shoplifting.

Ignatavicicte was remanded in custody for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said both women had extensive records for shoplifting offences including six already this year.

“They are obviously not stealing out of desperation.

“They are stealing items which will sell easily,” said Mrs Mann. “These offences carry all the hallmarks of professional shoplifting.

Mr Graeme Tindall (defending) said the offences were not sophisticated in any way.

He said the women had come to Blackburn looking for work through job agencies.