A THIEF who went on a shoplifting spree to feed his heroin and crack cocaine addiction was stealing up to £2,000 worth of make-up a day.

Aaron Elvis Rees, 39, targeted the Boots pharmacies in Pontypool and Cwmbran during a crime rampage that lasted a month.

Martha Smith-Higgins, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court how the defendant stole more than £5,000 of cosmetics from the Pontypool branch in just three days.

Rees also stole food and electrical goods from other stores across Torfaen.


Miss Smith-Higgins said: “On July 16 the defendant and another male entered the make-up aisle at the Boots store in Pontypool.

“He had a shopping bag with him and started to place items in the bag worth £2,000 before he left without paying.”

Rees, of Conway Road, Pontypool, returned the next day to steal another £2,000 worth of goods and £1,200 of items on July 18.

On August 1 he stole ham and cheese worth £53 from the Nisa store in Pontypool.

The defendant targeted the Boots pharmacy in Cwmbran on August 11 and twice on August 13 and made off with an electronic toothbrush, L’Oreal make-up, Superdry sunglasses and a toning belt.

The final theft took place on August 15 at Sainsbury’s in Cwmbran when he stole an Alexa device and a camera.

Miss Smith-Higgins said the total value of the goods stolen was £5,918.

She added: “When the defendant was interviewed by the police he told them he had gone shoplifting because he needed money for drugs, specifically heroin and crack cocaine.”

Rees pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft.

The court was told he has previous convictions for that offence.

Scott Bowen asked that his client by given full credit for his guilty pleas.

He added: “The defendant is embarrassed and disgusted by his behaviour.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins told Rees: “You blatantly stole high value electrical and cosmetic items.

“You targeted Boots in Pontypool and stole goods worth £5,200.”

Rees was jailed for 32 weeks and ordered to pay a victim surcharge after his release from prison.