A THIEF has been jailed for a string of offences including stealing and threatening behaviour.

Ben Atthis, 32, entered McColls in Leigh on May 16 and was abusive to a shop worker who asked him to leave.

Two days later we received information that a woman received a cut to her arm after getting into a disagreement with Atthis at a property in Southend.

On June 1, police were called after a 69-year-old woman reported that her handbag had been taken from Hadleigh and Thundersley Cricket Club and Atthis was spotted on CCTV.

He arrested on June 18 by officers from Operation Falcon, a team of five officers who help tackle crime in Castle Point and Rochford.

While he was under investigation, Atthis stole bikes from Belfairs Academy in Westcliff that belonged to six students.

At Basildon Crown Court on Monday, Atthis, of no fixed address, received 22 weeks for two counts of theft and six weeks for theft of a bike, to run consecutively.

He received concurrent sentences for common assault, going equipped to steal, theft, five other counts of theft of a bike and threatening behaviour.

Chief Insp David Miles, District Commander for Castle Point and Rochford, said: "Atthis is a prolific offender and an opportunist.

"After we established that he was the main suspect for a number of crimes, Operation Falcon officers were tasked with finding him and he was arrested the same day.

“The team has had many successes since being established in March 2018 by making 85 arrests in their first year. They also carried out 24 warrants and used stop and search powers 80 times over that period.

"The team also arrested 12 people over two days in Canvey during an operation in May to tackle drug crime.

“They have shown dedication to keeping our communities safe along with our partners while complimenting the work of our Town Centre, Community and Local Partnership and Op Raptor teams.”