...and providing the evidence to hang himself.
What happened when they turned up would have been hard to believe had the farce not been filmed and recorded on the body-worn cameras of the officers from MLB.The two Metropolitan Police officers who attended the scene decided the offence was a 'civil' matter (it isn't) and, after refusing to arrest Richards, simply released him even though they were fully aware of his notorious track record.
...the men behind My Local Bobby, former senior Scotland Yard officers who were providing security in the store, were so frustrated by the response of the police they took out a private prosecution against him. Last week, more than 16 months and nine court appearances later, Richards was finally punished for his shoplifting spree. After pleading guilty to the Boots offence, he was ordered by Chatham magistrates to do six months community service, undergo 20 days of rehabilitation and pay £100 towards costs.
Yes, it's not enough. But it's something, something the stores are having to pay for, when it should be a job for the people paid to do it.
Who mostly spend their time doing the things no sensible member of the public has at the top of their priority list:
Meanwhile, elsewhere in London:James Cooper, who owns Body Transformation in Hampstead, north London, was stunned when seven officers turned up at his gym and tried to gain access.
He logged into his security system and watched as police and staff from Camden Council spent an hour banging on his doors.When they failed to gain access the officers went round the back and one tried to tamper with a key box secured to the gym wall in what Mr Cooper believes to be an attempt to get inside his property without a warrant.
Mr Cooper, who trains a string of high profile clients from celebrities to city CEOs and barristers, vowed to launch proceedings against the police.
'I can hear them saying they don't have a warrant because my system records sound as well. I'm just not going to put up with this any more.
'What has the world come to that seven officers spend an hour of their time standing around my gym?'
Well, what else do you expect them to do, Mr Cooper? Arrest thieves? Pshaw! That's soooo 1970s.