POLICE threatened to use a Taser on a shoplifter, they thought to be armed with a knife, after a chase through a busy shopping area, a court heard.
David Fisher, 31, of Carter Street, Fordham, had been spotted by a shop assistant in Superdrug in Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds, as he put items down his trousers.
When he realised he had been seen, he left the shop.
Nicky Miller, prosecuting at Bury Magistrates’ Court on Monday, said the shop manager, guided at first by CCTV operators, followed Fisher through the town last Friday afternoon until, near the arc, the defendant turned and told him to stop following.
Fisher put his hand in his pocket, revealing something shiny, and threatened to stab the manager.
He also threw stolen items from his pockets at the store manager.
Mrs Miller said the manager continued to follow until police in Parkway told him to ‘stand down’ because they thought Fisher was armed.
After Fisher was detained in Wilkinson’s car park off Risbygate Street, the shop manager identified items in his possession as having been taken from Superdrug.
Mrs Miller said Fisher resisted arrest by trying to snatch the keys of a car he had been detained in.
An officer showed him a Taser to warn him but he still threatened to assault the policemen.
”He moved his head back as if to spit at the officers and was taken to the ground,” she said.
Fisher pleaded guilty to theft of cosmetics, using threatening words of behaviour likely to cause fear of violence and resisting a police officer.
The court heard the cosmetics he stole were to a value of more than £100.
Fisher was remanded in custody until February 10 for sentencing.
Mrs Miller told the court Fisher had a history of drug abuse and had 57 previous convictions for theft and 20 relating to police and courts, plus ‘fraud and numerous other matters’.
Jeff Lewis, for Fisher, said: “This is clearly a setback in his recovery.
“He manages to stay clear of heroin and when he does he’s relatively offence clear.”