Banned from Christmas shopping: Shoplifting sisters given ASBOs to keep them out of town centreKhalida Ahmed, 36, and Nazia Haq, 32, have been handed criminal ASBOs after treating stealing as their 'trade'They have been banned from shops including TK Max, Boots, Argos and Marks and Spencers in towns of Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Burnley
01:57 GMT, 14 December 2012
Two sisters have been banned from a string of high street stores after being named and shamed as professional shoplifters.
'Shopaholics' Khalida Ahmed, 36, and Nazia Haq, 32, were issued with criminal ASBOs after police said they treated their thieving expeditions as a self styled 'trade.'
The sisters, from Blackburn, Lancashire, have been repeatedly arrested after being caught sneaking out with clothing and food from shops including TK Max, Boots, Argos and Marks and Spencers.
Nazia Haq, 32, (left) and Khalida Ahmed, 36, (right) were issued with criminal ASBOs and banned from high street stores after being named and shamed as professional shoplifters
Blackburn town centre, just one of the places the sisters are banned from
Ahmed has convictions for shoplifting trips dating back ten years.
She once left her then seven-year-old child to take the blame for a shoplifting expedition after she was caught trying to leave a Kwiksave store without paying for almost 150 worth of groceries.
The pair were arrested again last June after stealing clothing from a Matalan store and food from a Farmfoods store in nearby Accrington.
At Blackburn Magistrates' Court Ahmed and Haq were warned they now faced up to five years jail if they ignored the Criminal Antisocial Behaviour Order – dubbed a CRASBO – even by simply setting foot in several named high street stores.
Ahmed, described as the more prolific shoplifter, is also banned from Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Farmfoods, Iceland, Boots, Argos, Marks And Spencer, Next, Matalan, Primark, TK Max, Mothercare, B&M Bargains, Debenhams, Claire’s Accessories, Accessorize, Toys ‘R’ Us and Smyths Toys in the towns of Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Burnley.
She and Haq are banned from entering Blackburn’s shopping area and the the town’s Townsmoor retail park for the next two years.
The CRASBO differs from regular ASBOs as they will be posted onto the sisters’ criminal records.
A third sister, Rizwana Ahmed, 33, pleaded guilty to stealing clothes from Matalan but escaped getting an ASBO because it was her first conviction.
Sgt David Clarke of Lancashire Police said CRASBO would be extended if Khalida and Nazia began 'plying their trade' further afield.
The pair are banned from a host of shops, including Marks And Spencer, in the towns of Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Burnley
He said: 'At the moment we hope it will be a nice Christmas present for the shopkeepers of Blackburn and the rest of East Lancashire from Lancashire Constabulary.
'These women, especially Khalida Ahmed, are prolific shoplifters and we hope these orders can dramatically reduce their offending.'
It is believed Klhaklida Ahmed first ventured into shoplifting in 2002 after her husband – a part-time taxi driver – was forced to take time off because the engine in his car had needed replacing.
She appeared in court in July of that year after pleaded guilty to stealing 118 items of grocery worth 147.
That hearing was told a customer doing his weekly shopping in Kwiksave, Blackburn had seen Ahmed acting suspiciously and kept watch on her.
She was standing near the entrance to the shop and he heard her tell her then seven-year-old son to go and fetch his dad and to tell him to bring the money in.
Ahmed then left by a side exit and the man gave chase, eventually confronting her at the front of the shop where he demanded to know if she was going to pay for the trolley load of goods she had with her.
She ran off and the shopper chased after her at which point Ahmed began screaming that she was being attacked. The man let go of her and took hold of the boy and Ahmed again ran off.
Last year Haq was ordered to pay 40 costs for stealing 80 of Lucozade and frozen food from Farmfoods in Accrington.
Both were then arrested in July for stealing from Matalan. Ahmed was also detained for shoplifting at Farmfoods and Argos.
In the latest hearing Ahmed was given a conditional discharge for 24 months and Haq a conditional discharge for 12 months. They were both ordered to pay 100 compensation to Matalan.
Rizwana was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay 100 compensation and 100 costs.
Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, said Rizwana only had one previous conviction and had effectively found herself in 'rum company.'
He added: 'The other two are professional shoplifters as far as the prosecution are concerned.'
Mr Gaffney said Ahmed and Haq were aware that if there were further offences in other towns, such as Bolton or Preston, the police would seek to have the ASBO extended to cover those towns.
He said: 'The ASBO is not a paper tiger, it is a court order. I say for their benefit that they will be ripe for custodial sentences if they breach these orders. This is very much a last chance saloon for them.'
Scott Parker, defending, said his clients had been remanded in custody for eight days during the latest proceedings and this had acted as a 'wake-up call.'