POLICE have welcomed news a prolific shoplifter has been banned  from several shops and from drinking booze in public.

Steven John Owen, of Victoria House, was made subject of an unprecedented five-year criminal behaviour order at Chester Magistrates Court on Monday, May 23.

The 52-year-old made the lives of business owners and residents in Northwich and Winsford “a misery” according to Cheshire Police.

As part of the order, Owen is banned from entering several stores in both towns, as well as a ban on him being drunk in public places and asking people for money.

Sergeant Andrew Cooper said: “Steven Owen’s behaviour has had a significant impact on residents and business in the mid-Cheshire area for a number of years.

“His repeated shoplifting and anti-social behaviour was making life a misery for those who were subject to his illegal activities.

"The local beat team listened to local businesses and residents and began collating evidence which would bring the CBO application before the court to help curb his behaviour.

“This result is an important step in getting Owen to change his behaviour and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour on our streets.

“If Owen breaches his order he will be back before the courts and could face time behind bars.”

Anyone who encounters Owen breaching the terms of his CBO over the next five years is asked to contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101 to report it.