Plumb Center theft

Published:  05 September, 2012

CHIPPENHAM: An assistant at a plumbers’ merchant stole stock from work which he sold in the car park when he was at work alone.

David Moules worked on the trade counter at the Plumb Center on Bumpers Farm in Chippenham when he turned to crime to supplement his income.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the 28-year-old dealt with goods as they came in to the business as well as dealing with customer orders.

She said there was a slack system at the store which meant if goods were not marked as delivered they were deemed to be missing.

That gave employees the opportunity to taken them and then sell them on to customers for cash.

She said: “He was taking items and selling them generally in the car park to customers he knew and trusted and in turn pocketed the cash for those products.”

As a result of losses over four years at the Chippenham branch she said the company installed covert CCTV. A number of employees were seen stealing and after internal inquires the matter was handed over to the police.

When he was questioned he admitted what he had been doing saying he knew it was wrong and was ‘very stupid’. Moules, of Lackham Circus, Chippenham, pleaded guilty to theft. He admitted taking goods worth £1,300. The court heard he had a conviction for attempting to gain a pecuniary advantage by deception from 2003.

A Wolseley UK spokesperson said: “We became aware of stock discrepancies in Chippenham Plumb Center last year. Following a full internal investigation,  three members of staff at the branch were dismissed. The matter was then handed over to the police.”

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