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Criminal on community service stole TK Maxx trainers as offenders made fun of his footwear

Cash-strapped Wojciekh Pelcz stole a pair of trainers as other offenders carrying out unpaid work were making fun of the poor state of his footwear. The 38-year-old had no money to buy new trainers so went to TK Maxx, took off his old pair, put on the new trainers and walked out.

But he was stopped and detained by staff. Now Pelcz has been handed a 12-month conditional discharge at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.




Prosecutor Tariq Shakoor said Pelcz stole a pair of trainers from the Hanley, store on January 16. Staff saw what was happening and the trainers were recovered but were not in a resalable condition as the tag had been broken.

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The offence placed Pelcz in breach of a 20-month suspended prison sentence he received in December 2022 for burglary. Pelcz, of Ryder Grove, Butt Lane, pleaded guilty to theft and breaching a suspended prison sentence.

The TK Maxx store in Hanley

Stuart Muldoon, mitigating, said Pelcz had no income and was doing unpaid work in footwear which was in such a poor state other people doing unpaid work made fun of him. Mr Muldoon added: “He knows if there were to be a second breach he will go to custody.”

Recorder Julian Taylor handed Pelcz a 12-month conditional discharge for the shoplifting offence and 40 hours unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement for 10 days for the breach. Recorder Taylor warned Pelcz: “If you commit any further offences I will send you to prison.”

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