A shameless shoplifter says she has made almost £2million from a 44-year crime spree while enjoying designer clothes, plastic surgery and exotic holidays, Daily Mail reports. But despite her illegal earnings which have seen her jailed seven times, Kim Farry, 54, still reportedly lives in a rent-free council house in south west London, and takes home £556 in benefits every month. In an interview, the mother-of-six described shoplifting as her ‘job’ and says at her peak she was taking home almost £50,000 a year through stealing, but she is now going straight for the sake of her youngest daughter, 14-year-old Paris.
Ms Farry says she first stole aged just nine, when she saw her single mother struggle to bring her up, as well as her eight siblings. After she went unchallenged as she took a haul of groceries from a supermarket, she says she began stealing food and toys on a weekly basis. She was arrested aged ten for stealing a badge, but no action was taken against her, the People reports. At 14 she was expelled from school and despite two youth detention sentences she decided at 16 to make shoplifting her full-time job – disguising her self with wigs or make-up to avoid being caught.
‘I used to nick a load of stuff then go and have a cuppa with the security guards, that’s how good I was. When I had been doing it for a few years I realised it was more about attitude than anything else. I could steal anything,’ she said. On one occasion she says she even managed to steal a cooker with the help of an accomplice and a van, but reportedly made much of her money by stealing from designer clothing shops and having other women return the items for vouchers or credit notes.
She then sold these on for half the price, but would also make money by shoplifting to order. After she married in her 20s and started a family of her own, Ms Farry even trained up her three eldest children to help her once they turned 12, she told the newspaper. She says she was stealing items worth as much as £7,000 a month, taking home nearly £50,000 a year after paying her accomplices. But although Ms Farry said she turned to crime to support her family, it also caused the break-down of her marriage and when she was sentenced to one of her jail terms her three eldest children were sent to live with her father.
According to the People, Ms Farry has more than 50 shoplifting charges to her name, but she says this accounts for only around one per cent of her exploits. She was last jailed when Paris was six weeks old, but told the newspaper that on the day she was released from the six-week sentence she went on a stealing spree. She says she is now hoping to change her ways for Paris, but does not want to give up the perks of her lifestyle, which has seen her undergo three breast augmentations as well as enjoying luxury holidays, designer outfits, regular beauty treatments and meals out.
Ms Farry says she was unable to find work once she had a criminal record, and currently receives £120 every two weeks in disability living allowance for stress, £20 a week for child benefit and £58 in child tax credits. She says she does want to find legal employment, but adds that if she is unable to get a job she may resort to stealing – and says the Government should give out more in handouts to prevent others from turning to crime. She said: ‘There’s no way I can maintain my lifestyle or anything close to it. The Government is living in denial if it thinks people are going to live on benefits and not do everything they can to top it up, illegal or not.’ MailOnline has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.