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'Pickpocket queen' jailed after 153rd offence

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 14/03/2017 Alex Gatenby
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A pickpocket thief who targeted elderly women has been jailed for 30 months.

Margaret Johnson, 40, admitted to six thefts at Birmingham Crown Court after being caught on CCTV multiple times.

Footage showed her stalking shoppers around supermarket isles before delving into their pockets or handbags and stealing their belongings.

According to Police, one of her victims was a 76-year-old woman who was shopping with her grandson who has Down's Syndrome on February 2.

In addition to her prison sentence she was given a criminal behaviour order which bans her from parts of Bimringham city centre and large stores within the area.

Sgt Julia Slater, of West Midland Police, said: "She deliberately targets elderly, lone female shoppers.

"Even by her own despicable standards she has stooped to new lows with these offences".

Johnson has 153 offences to her name, 93 of which are for theft. In 2015 she was given a 43-week prison sentence for thefts including one against a 90-year-old woman at Poundland in Sutton Coldfield.

Police said this offence took place just four days after being released from an earlier jail sentence.

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