A serial thief who targeted B&Q stores has been jailed for two years at Lincoln Crown Court.
Richard Penson loaded a trolley with goods and then bypassed the till by taking the items to the perimeter fence where he loaded them into a hire car.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Penson stole electrical items and other goods worth £2,358 from the company’s York store in July.
Two months later he carried out a similar theft at the company’s Spalding store when he got away with £530 worth of security equipment including cameras and sensors.
He was traced later from footage found on CCTV security film at the stores.
Mr Howes said: “This was a professional enterprise whereby this defendant was targeting B&Q stores.”
Penson (60), of Welbourne, Werrington, Peterborough, admitted two charges of theft committed on July 9 and September 28.
In addition to being jailed he was banned from driving for five years under legislation which allows a driving disqualification to be imposed where a criminal uses a vehicle while committing an offence.
The court was told that Penson had 38 previous court appearances for 73 offences , including 53 previous thefts, dating back over the last 40 years.
Judge Sean Morris told him: “You are a determined and professional thief. You deliberately targeted B&Q stores in different parts of the country.
“You need a robust sentence to deter you. You’re wasting the end years of your life. You’re 60 now. It’s downhill from now on.”
John Farmer, defending, described Penson as an “old lag” and urged that his client should be given credit for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.
He said: “This defendant has not sought to mess around and waste time and resources. He has been caught and he has pleaded guilty.
“He has a problem with gambling. It can be as addictive as some drugs.”