Employment and the ability to pay back his wrong-doings has saved a serial shoplifter from electronic monitoring and home confinement.

Djeach Montel Baker, appearing before Judge Garry Barkle in the Whanganui District Court yesterday, was convicted and sentenced on two charges of shoplifting.

He was sentenced to 120 hours community work for both charges, which will run concurrently, and also ordered to pay reparation.

Police prosecutor Stephen Butler said the offending began on Wednesday, June 27 at about 1pm.

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"At Cotton On retail clothing store in Whanganui, the defendant uplifted various items of clothing including jackets, hoodies, t-shirts and trousers from various display stands.

"He positioned himself at the front of the store and walked out with the items valued at $410.90."

Two days later on June 29, this time about 1.45pm, Baker did the same again, but this time the stolen items were worth $521.89.

Duty solicitor Jamie Waugh said Baker would be able to pay the reparation within three weeks.

"He is now in employment as a landscaper, the first employment he has had in a long period of time," Waugh said.

"He does have a history of shoplifting, but this new employment is a dramatic change for Mr Baker."

Judge Barkle read a victim impact statement in which the store manager said Baker's actions were not only an inconvenience, but they affected the staff too.

"Mr Baker, you are on the cusp of coming back for an electronically monitored sentence, but because you seem to be in employment now and can pay reparation, I can pull back from that being the case," Judge Barkle said.

"Now you've got a job, get in and do that, pay the reparation, do the community work and keep working."