A Rugby warehouse worker stole £30,000 worth of heavy-duty electric drills by getting them delivered to his home – and then sold them for £100 each. A judge heard that Krzysztof Chrusciel carried out the thefts out of desperation to pay back payday loans on which he was being charged a staggering 300 to 400 per cent interest.
Chrusciel, 27, of Sissinghurst Close, Rugby, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of theft.
He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutor Warren Stanier said that Chrusciel worked as a warehouse operator at the Unipart distribution centre at Swift Park, Rugby.
In mid-December last year the Unipart management became aware that a large number of heavy-duty Bosche drills had gone missing and began an investigation.
In an attempt to cover up the loss, Chrusciel altered the computer records – but the thefts were traced to him.
Mr Stanier said Chrusciel had stolen 125 of the drills which had a total cost value to Unipart of £30,000 and a retail value of £57,000.
The company uses Parcelforce to deliver to customers, and enquiries revealed there had been a number of deliveries to Chrusciel’s address.
When he was questioned by Unipart’s security manager, he admitted stealing about two pallets worth of the drills by sending them to himself via Parcelforce, usually in batches of four, and then selling them on the internet for £100 each.
The police were informed, and when he was arrested in early February Chrusciel, who had no previous convictions, made no comment.
Mr Stanier added that at Chrusciel’s home the police found a Sky digital box which he had also stolen from Unipart.
Sean Logan, defending, conceded: “The breach of trust is absolutely inherent in the offence. The only question is whether the sentence is in any way capable of being suspended.
“The fact that he posted these items to his own home address shows a lack of sophistication.”
Mr Logan said Chrusciel, who was doing his best to support his partner and her three children, had no drink or drug problems, but had got tangled up in high-interest payday loans after getting into debt.
He owed £7,000 to Barclays and £500 to Provident, as well as having other small loans, and was struggling to meet the repayments.
“In desperation he turned to payday loans on which he was paying interest of 300 to 400 per cent. He got into a panic and acted in an uncharacteristically dishonest way.”
Sentencing Chrusciel, Recorder Richard Burns told him: “What you have done is very serious. Nobody could criticise me if I sent you straight to prison; but I’m going to give you a chance.”