TWO brothers have been jailed after a series of thefts valued at more than £20,000 across south Essex.

Aaron Taylor, 31, and Gary Taylor, 25, have been jailed for a year after appearing at Southend Magistrates on May 2.

Often working in tandem with each other but sometimes alone, Aaron and Gary Taylor mainly stole hand-held scanners, and a card reader, valued at more than £20,000 from stores in Corringham, Lakeside shopping centre, Chelmsford, Wickford, and Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

On May 2, Southend magistrates jailed each of the brothers, from Orchard Road, Burnham, for a total of 52 weeks and ordered them each to pay a £182 victim surcharge.

They each admitted a total of 14 counts of shop theft and, additionally, Gary Taylor, 25, admitted stealing a VW Passat in Stanford le Hope on September 19, 2022.

Stores targeted included the Co-op, Holland and Barrett, Hollywood Bowl, Superdrug, New Look, H&M and Tesco.

As well as the scanners, the brothers, from Orchard Road, Burnham, stole two jackets, valued at £600 from the Tommy Hilfiger store, £240 of perfume from The Fragrance Store and £710 of goods from JD Sports, all at Lakeside shopping centre, plus £100 of makeup from Boots, in St John’s Way, Corringham, and £131 of perfume from Tesco in Fullbridge, Maldon.

Aaron, 31, also stole two hand-held scanners from Sainsbury in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and a £210 raincoat from the Tommy Hilfiger store in Lakeside shopping centre.

The court heard the 16 shop thefts took place between November 19, 2023 and January 24, 2024.

Investigating officer PC Steve Osborn, of Lakeside Community Policing Team, said after the case: “Shoplifting is never a victimless crime.

“Aaron and Gary Taylor stole a lot of designer goods and high-priced equipment from stores, which costs businesses a lot to replace and can lead to them having to increase their prices.

“The brothers are prolific offenders and some retail staff, particularly at Lakeside, have told us the impact of their offending has given them anxiety.

“But they have now been taken off the streets and out of the stores for a significant period of time.”