November 4, 2021 3.45 pm This story is over 24 months old

Lincoln’s ‘most prolific shoplifter’ avoids jail

Police tried to help get her support for drug addiction

A Lincoln woman described by police as the “city centre’s most prolific shoplifter’ avoided jail after being given a suspended sentence.

Tanita Burton, 31, of no fixed address was charged by police with nine thefts on October 26 this year, which she admitted she was doing to fund her drug habit.

She appeared at Lincoln Magistrates Court on October 28 on eight charges of theft and one count of attempting to steal, both of which she indicated a plea of guilty for.

A charge of breaking a bail condition was withdrawn, while she also faced a charge of an offence while a community order is in force.

Burton was sentenced to 20 weeks suspended for 12 months.

Lincoln Police previously posted on social media about the case saying: “Today (October 26) we caught the city centre’s most prolific shoplifter. They were charged with nine thefts.

“A bit of a chat with this person revealed they were doing this to feed an increasing drug habit.

“They have been on a serious downward spiral. Facing temporary homelessness, mental health issues in addition to their drug issues.

“We have made contact with ‘we are with you’ and advised this person as to how they can access support to get back on script. The plan being to get their drug addiction under control and in turn curb their offending.

“Hopefully this will work and allow other agencies to support this person with their housing and mental health issues.

“This is called problem solving policing. Looking beyond the crime or individual incidents. Figuring out a solution that has some longevity.

“It’s better for those involved, it’s better for the wider community and it saves work for officers in the long run. The bigger picture is always worth looking at.”