Cambridge man stole £67,000 of plumbing equipment and sold it on eBay

09:29 13 March 2014

Nicholas Tingey

Nicholas Tingey

Cambs Police

A warehouse worker who stole goods worth more than £67,000 and sold them on eBay has been jailed and ordered to pay back the cash.

Nicholas Tingey, 45, of Thorpe Way, Cambridge, helped himself to a huge amount of stock at Ridgeon’s Timber and Building Merchants between 2007 and 2013.

He then sold off the items through the online auction site to pay off his spiralling debts.

Tingey was finally caught when a stock check revealed two boilers were missing. CCTV was checked and showed Tingey stealing stock from the warehouse.

His offending had previously gone undiscovered because another employee had been caught stealing items and the losses put down to them.

The company were investigating the losses and, on checking the website Ebay, discovered a seller called ‘Nick’ advertising the missing items for sale. A check of the username’s history revealed hundreds of heating and plumbing items worth a total of £67,097.

He was sacked for gross misconduct in November last year and handed back three stolen items worth a total of £769. He claimed he did not have the means to pay back the money he made from the thefts. However, investigations by the Economic Crime Unit revealed he had a car worth £20,000 and £60,000 in various bank accounts. All of which were frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Tingey pleaded guilty to theft and jailed for a total of 14 months at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday, March 4. The court also served a confiscation order of £65,000 to be paid to the company.

He has six months to pay back the cash or face a further 12 months in prison.

Financial Investigator Malcolm Ewles said: “Tingey helped himself to a huge amount of stock which he then sold online. Fortunately the company realised what was happening and tracked down his online dealings which helped our investigation and subsequent efforts to seize his assets.”

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