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Carers went on shoplifting spree because they thought they’d get away with it

Two mums face losing their jobs after they stole £1,500 in goods from Next.

Sarah Boardman and Natalie Graham thought they could get away with a series of thefts after being shown how to escape without being detected.

They targeted a large store in Handforth Dean, Cheshire, where staff found 35 pins and security tags dumped in a corner.

Security cameras picked them up hiding behind a Range Rover before they drove off in a VW Golf which police were easily able to track down through the registration number.

Mother-of-three Boardman and Graham, who has four children, both admitted theft but insisted the items were worth less than £700.

Next said they took a large laundry basket, two mirrors, a man’s coat, two pairs of lady’s pyjamas, three sets of men’s trousers, a bath mat, slippers and a girl’s outfit on January 31, 2020.

They then returned five days later and took pictures, mirrors and black cuddly toy leopards.

On their third trip on February 7, they stole three pairs of pyjamas, a child’s coat and ladies’ underwear.

Michelle Julien, who works in Next’s loss prevention department, estimated they took at least 37 items.

She said: ‘It only takes one second to de-tag an item – there could have been more tags.’

Defending herself, Graham said: ‘I was de-tagging, but saying I removed 35 tags is just ridiculous.

‘There was not enough time to remove 35 tags in one minute. We were not looking for the tags, we were just picking up the items we wanted as we were not selling them. The price of the items was irrelevant to us.’

Their defence lawyer Lucy Crossman said: ‘They had a friend who did it and she was effectively showing off because she had been taking items from the store for her child.

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