A prolific shoplifter who stole three wallets from a shop in Falmouth was arrested after some good work by the police, Truro’s magistrates’ court heard.

A picture from CCTV images taken at the Fat Face Shop in Church Street was sent to Penzance, where a policewoman recognised the man as she had dealt with him before for similar offences.

Before the court was carpenter Clifford Vaughan Townsend, aged 51, of Chywoone Place, Newlyn, who pleaded guilty to the theft of the wallets worth £48 on March 19.

Prosecutor Julian Herbert said when CCTV was checked, after defendant had left the shop, it showed him taking the wallets and leaving without paying. He had a number of previous convictions for shoplifting.

Solicitor Paul Gallagher said Townsend realized he was nearing the end of the road and had now changed his lifestyle, changing his friends, and was adamant that he would not offend again.

As a carpenter he had been short of work lately, which was why he had been stealing.

Townsend was given an eight week prison sentence, suspended for a year, by District Judge Ian Strongman. He had to pay £48 compensation.