The 59-year-old man was caught in the act by one shopkeeper, but managed to escape despite being chased by four shoppers - although he did drop his stolen goods.
Police were able to find a trace of his DNA on the stolen goods and arrested him. His DNA also linked him to a spate of recent burglaries in the town. He has not confessed to any of them.
Police spokesman Johann Baumschlager said they believe the man has been breaking into shops since January 17th. He stole mostly cash, clothing, hair products and high-quality office products. The prisoner had been allowed to leave the prison at the weekends but this has now been revoked.