Shameless shoplifter with nearly 300 offenses in record targets 21 stores in latest crime spree

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A brazen thief with a horrendous 300 offenses to his name is back behind bars after targeting 21 stores in his latest crime spree.

Neil Ganjel told probation officers trying to help him that he had no desire to change his twisted lifestyle, which spanned more than a decade and saw him serving many prison sentences. And the 33-year-old proved he has no intention of changing his ways by committing his latest in a long line of robberies.

Newcastle Magistrates Court heard the career scammer targeted Boots, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Nisa and Co-op stores around Newcastle 21 times in two months, stealing more than £1,200 worth of cosmetics, alcohol and food. He was arrested earlier this week and appeared in the dock in police custody to plead guilty to 19 counts of store robbery and two of attempted store robbery.

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Ganjel, of Graingerville North, on Westgate Road, Newcastle, showed no emotion when told that patience with him had run out and he was being remanded in custody while his case returned to court in the Crown for sentencing. He was also told that Northumbria Police would seek that he be placed on a criminal behavior order in a bid to reduce his offense and alleviate the misery he inflicts on retailers.

Marc Atkins, prosecuting, said the last 21 offenses took place between March and May this year and involved Ganjel stealing cosmetics, meat, confectionery, alcohol and cheese. He added: ‘All of the offenses except the first in March were committed while the defendant was subject to two community orders.

The court heard Ganjel’s loot was £1,293.80 and the vast majority had not been recovered.

Alanna Wesencraft, defending, said Ganjel had suffered from significant drug and alcohol problems in the past, which led to his offense, but has now sought accommodation of his own. She added: “This is the longest time he has been incarcerated, but he has since had issues with his benefits.”

Ganjel was remanded in custody to then appear at Newcastle Crown Court on July 13 for his sentence.

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