A 37-year-old man from Kent has been banned from entering Sainsbury’s in Dartford, along with other supermarket chains in Kent, following shoplifting offences.

Stephen Ewens, 37, of Oak View Edenbridge was issued a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) preventing him from entering Sainsbury’s in Dartford and Tonbridge, along with any premises owned by Aldi, Asda, Waitrose, Co-Op or Lidl in Kent.

He has been described by Kent Police as a “prolific shoplifter.”

Ewens was originally prohibited from entering stores in Edenbridge, being repeatedly prosecuted for offences relating to thefts in the area between September 4, 2020 and January 25, 2022.

Following a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) to prevent him from returning to affected businesses, Ewens began offending in areas including Dartford.

Ewens pleaded guilty to two further counts of thefts at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on October 3, 2023.

He was later sentenced before the same court on February 5, 2024 to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, and 150 hours’ unpaid work.

His existing CBO was also extended to a county-wide ban following an application by the west Kent Strategic Prevention Command.

Investigating officer, PC Jules Edwards, said: “The effect of shoplifting is not solely felt by the businesses who fall victim to such crimes.

“The impact presents wider issues for the community, for example, in the rising costs of essential items as shops try to counteract their financial losses.

“Kent Police takes all reports of shoplifting seriously and actively encourages members of the public to notify us of such offences.

“We hope that the robust response to Ewen’s offending serves to reassure traders that we are proactively targeting shoplifters across Kent and putting measures in place to protect their livelihoods.“