A DEFIANT small business owner has issued a stern warning to would-be shoplifters after growing fed-up with his store being targeted by thieves.

John Easey, 54, has owned Dean’s Tackle & Guns, in Pallister Road, Clacton, for the last 20 years, although the shop itself has been in the town since 1967.

This week the long-running store, which sells everything from fishing equipment to air rifles, was hit by a sneaky thief who made off with a small selection of products.

Fortunately the crook was captured on camera, and after circulating his image online, Mr Easey is said to have managed to resolve the situation.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“This nice gentleman is now banned and his photo will remain on the shop wall as a warning to others,” said the business owner.

“I have removed his image as, although he did wrong, I would not like his life ruined by certain people.

“Most anglers are 100 per cent honest and even the few that are not, still would not steal as they enjoy the sport too much.

“I just wanted to highlight to warn other shops about him because we tackle shops share amongst ourselves.”

Mr Easey decided to publicly shame the thief having growing frustrated with how often his shop has been targeted during his lengthy tenure.

He has now taken action to improve security at the store and warned any potential shoplifters who enter his premises that he will be watching.

He is also now part of a partnership of tackle shops across north Essex who share information with each other when a theft occurs.

Mr Easey added: “After recent thefts, I have decided enough is enough and we now have 16 cameras covering the shop outside and in.

“We are now in the silly season for shoplifters, but the shop is now well protected with CCTV.

“The last few thefts have been by people you would not think would do it, and this chap this time was well dressed and spoke nicely.

“We had one chap, who pinched a Shimano fishing reel, and was very well dressed and had a brand new Mercedes parked out the front.

“You should never judge a book by its cover, as I have found out in the last 20 years.”