A serial offender was so well-known to stores that he “might as well have had a yellow flashing light on his head” during his latest shoplifting bid.
Christopher Day, of North Street in Paddock, admitted to the theft of two bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
He was caught stealing the booze from Morrisons in Meltham on December 23.
The 31-year-old secreted the bottles, worth £36, inside his clothing but was challenged by a security guard as he left the store.
He was returned back to the store to await the arrival of police and later tested positive for the use of cocaine and opiates in his system.
Mike Sisson-Pell, mitigating, said that his client first offended aged 12 and has been a regular before the court since and accumulated a lengthy criminal record.
He told Kirklees magistrates: “All of the stores in the Huddersfield and Kirklees area know Mr Day.
“He might as well have had a yellow flashing light stuck on the top of his head, he’s that obvious to them.”
Mr Sisson-Pell added that while much of Day’s record was linked to his drug addiction, this time he stole to eat.
He told magistrates: “He’d come out of prison and had several weeks with no money at all.
“He went to live with his friends who are all drug users and in desperation went into the store to steal because he had nothing to eat.
“The prison service spends hundreds of pounds a week on him when there are people far more deserving of custody.”
Magistrates were told that Day now wished to break his cycle of offending by quitting drugs for good.
They sentenced him to nine months of drug rehabilitation as punishment.