Mum Stole 900 Handbags Worth £500,000

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum stole 900 handbags worth £500,000

A mother-of-two is facing jail after she went on a one-woman crimewave, stealing 900 handbags worth up to £500,000.

Jayne Rand's husband and grown-up daughters were oblivious to her activities, which have led to her being branded Britain's Biggest Handbag Thief.

The 48-year-old has now been told she faces a custodial sentence after stealing hundreds of bags and purses over three years.

Newport Crown Court heard that she took 905 bags and four purses from top designers such as Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton by brazenly walking out of shops with their security tags still attached.

She then sold them on, frequently getting more than £1,000 for each one.

She was eventually caught red-handed by security guards at a shopping centre in Cwmbran, South Wales last December.

Officers were later able to trace Rand's criminal ventures around the country by analysing CCTV from other stores she'd visited.

Prosecutor David Wooler said: "A financial investigation had been looking into the case for some time.

"It is estimated that the value of all the theft would be in excess of £130,000 but that does not take into account the shop's mark-up."

By selling the bags on at a drastically reduced price, Rand was able to make more than £80,000 between 2009 and 2012, and admitted converting criminal assets from 838 of the handbags.

Neighbours in her home village of Purton, near Swindon, reacted with shock at the secret life of an otherwise 'quiet and respectable' housewife.

One said: "Mrs Rand is quiet and respectable - she is not the sort of person you see with a new handbag every week. There's nothing flashy about her but she likes her holidays."

Judge Rhys Rowlands told the court: "The defendant was only caught because people in Cwmbran happen to be quite diligent.

"She was caught red-handed with a handbag and in her car were two handbags stolen earlier that day. The evidence is overwhelming.

"This lady has pleaded guilty to a campaign of shoplifting. For all intents and purposes she has carried out a business, and we are talking about tens of thousands of pounds. It will be a custodial sentence of some length."

Rand was released on conditional bail and is expected to be sentenced in October.


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