A THIEF has been jailed for stealing more than £8,500 worth of booze from Cumbrian stores.

Catalin Serban pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to 13 counts of theft when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Barrow on February 20.

It comes after South Lakes Police arrested the man in Humberside as part of an investigation into multiple shoplifting offences predominantly in the South Lakes area.

South Cumbria Magistrates Court heard Serban travelled to Kendal, Keswick, Milnthorpe, Ulverston and Windermere to steal alcohol from Booths supermarket stores.

The 41-year-old, of Frodingham Road in Scunthorpe, committed the offences on 13 separate occasions between May 19 2023 – February 9 2024.

In total, £8,527.25 worth of alcoholic goods were stolen.

Serban hauled his biggest load of alcohol from Milnthorpe’s Booths store on February 7 this year having stolen £1,407 worth of booze, the court heard.

Magistrates jailed Serban for 26 weeks as they concluded the offences were so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.

They added that the defendant had a history of similar offending in the UK and in Romania and that he was also on post-sentence supervision at the time of two of the offences.

In addition he was also ordered to pay £2,800 worth of compensation, as well as a £154 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.

Announcing the conviction on social media, South Lakes Police said: “Our Town Centre Beat Officers and PCSO’s continue to investigate retail crime offences and work with our Custody Investigation Team to ensure that local and travelling criminals are held to account for their offending.”