A robbery suspect has been remanded in custody by a court while he awaits trial.
Zachariah Simms, 21, appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court Wednesday 29 November charged with eight thefts, three robberies and having an offensive weapon in a public place.
Sussex Police said today (Wednesday 13 December): “The charges come after police received reports of a man shoplifting items from the Co-op store in London Road, St Leonards, on four occasions in August and September.
“Further thefts were reported in Hastings town centre – at the Sainsbury’s store on Saturday 2 September, at Marks and Spencer on Monday 2 October and Savers on Friday 24 November.
“A theft was also reported from the Sainsbury’s store in Bexhill on Wednesday 1 November. Stolen items included biscuits, coffee, alcohol and large quantities of meat.
“On three occasions, employees and security staff at businesses challenged a suspected shoplifter and were threatened with and subjected to violence.
“This occurred at the Morrisons store in Queen’s Road, in Hastings, on Monday 2 October, Sainsbury’s in Bexhill on Tuesday 7 November and Asda in Battle Road, Hastings, on Monday 27 November.
“Simms, 21, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody to next appear before the court on Wednesday 3 January 2024.”
Detective Constable Debora Baptista said: “We acknowledge the financial and emotional impact business crime has on owners and employees, particularly when a business is repeatedly targeted.
“We work closely with businesses, local authorities and ‘business crime reduction partnerships’ across Sussex, listening to the concerns raised by our business community and working with partners to see how we can best respond to address the issue.
“We take each report seriously, irrespective of the value, following up on any reasonable lines of inquiry.
“We would always encourage shop workers, business owners and the local community to report offences to us so we can gather intelligence to help prevent, detect and respond to crime.
“If you are a victim or witness to any crime, you can report it online or via 101, or dial 999 in an emergency.”