A PROLIFIC shoplifter who shoved a shopkeeper into a fridge has been jailed.
Anthony Rea, 31, of Sewell Place, repeatedly stole vape pens and fizzy pop from a small shop in Hillmorton.
On March 1, Rea pushed the shopkeeper behind the counter while stealing a vape pen and, when the shopkeeper attempted to stop him from leaving, Rea shoved him into a fridge.
When Rea was interviewed by police, he claimed he often tried to pay for goods but the shopkeeper would not let him.
Rea was subsequently charged with nine counts of shoplifting and one count of assault.
On July 7, magistrates sentenced him to nine-and-a-half months in prison – six weeks for shoplifting and assault, and 32 weeks for reoffending while on licence.
Sgt Summers of Rugby Police said: “Rea is a prolific shoplifter and the slightly bizarre excuse that he was supposedly not being allowed to pay for goods did not impress us or the courts.
“He believed he was entitled to take fizzy drinks and vapes at will, and appeared quite happy to assault a shopkeeper when his entitlement was questioned.
“There is a belief among some that police will not attend or investigate reports of shoplifting if goods are below a certain value.
“I hope this case goes some way to address that misconception.”