A PROLIFIC thief raided a kebab shop, restaurant and even a tattoo parlour during a crime spree spanning two years.

Richard Stevens spat in the face of shop worker after he was caught stealing jars of coffee from a Southampton branch of the Co-op, a court heard.

During another incident, the 33-year-old stole £1,950 in cash from the Golden Bengal Indian Restaurant on St Denys Road.

Prosecution barrister, Richard Tutt, told how the defendant smashed his way into the restaurant taking the owner’s car keys.

He then stole a vehicle before crashing it and writing it off.

Mr Tutt said that Stevens, of Wavell Road, Southampton, raided Hatchers News in Swaythling, making off with £900 worth of cigarettes.

Southampton Crown Court heard that he stole a till, containing between £60 and £80, from Burgess Grill in Burgess Road.

And during a break-in at The Nook tattoo parlour in Bedford Place, a phone worth £250.

On many occasions, Stevens went prepared to the burglaries with a hammer or a screwdriver, Mr Tutt added.

His offending, which started in July 2020, was finally brought to a stop when he was arrested after attacking the Co-op employee.

Appearing in court in June, he stood to be sentenced for aggravated burglary, theft from a shop and six charges of burglary.

He pleaded guilty to all offences.

Stevens has 12 previous convictions for 21 offences, many of which he committed as a juvenile.

In a victim personal statement read out in court, the owner of Hatchers News said: “I’m constantly in fear that the same will happen to my shop again”.

Defending, Christopher Pix, said his client had lost his job, but since being arrested, had completely stopped taking drugs.

In a statement read out on his behalf, Stevens said: “If I could go back and say sorry to every single person I would do. I really screwed up.”

But Judge Brian Forster QC said: “The bottom line is, you cannot go into someone else’s home and steal.”

He added that Stevens was willing to “take what [he] could get” and that his actions had had a “considerable impact” on the shopkeepers involved.

He jailed him for 16 months and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.