A prolific thief who stole from shops three times in a week was sentenced to one day’s detention at court.
Barry Ingham, 35, of no fixed abode, has 77 previous convictions for theft, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.
Ingham was given a drug treatment order by the court days earlier, but was arrested the following day for another offence of theft.
He admitted theft on August 2.
The court heard Ingham took Nivea face cream, priced at £30, from Lloyds Pharmacy in Hartlepool.
Andrew Teate, defending, said: “When he was dealt with for the earlier offences, the police already knew about the theft from the pharmacy.
“I fail to see why all matters could not have been dealt with.
“Apparently, the police have a queueing system for investigating this type of crime, so Mr Ingham was arrested again.
“He has just been given a drug treatment order.
“It seems unlikely he would have got a different sentence had all these offences been dealt with together.”
Ingham was sentenced to one day’s detention at court, which he had already served, and he was ordered to pay £150 criminal court surcharge.