Amazon workers stole £ 18,000 in stock in ‘impulsive’ theft

An Amazon employee who was caught red-handed after stealing more than £ 18,000 from mobile phones and computer memory cards has escaped from jail.

Eskinder Weldeab, who worked at Amazon’s distribution center in Allesley, was searched by security personnel at the end of his shift after they suspected the theft.

They found a series of phones on him and computer memory cards in his car, which he planned to sell to pay back to a mechanic who had his car repaired.

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He appeared in Warwick Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months probation for two years.

Prosecutor Joshua Purser said the theft had taken place ‘in breach of a certain degree of trust’ last month while Weldeab was working at Amazon’s distribution center.

In all, he had stolen 13 phones and 10 memory cards worth a total of about 18,500 pounds, Mr Purser said, adding that Amazon in a statement of impact said such a theft “affects our brand image”.

“A good, hardworking man”

Defender Tom Parker said: “There is little that can be said other than that this was impulsive. There was limited planning.

“He was loading goods from a truck onto a conveyor belt and he was taking these phones and memory boards. He was shocked to hear how valuable the items were.

“His intention was to sell the items and earn a few pounds to pay a bill to a mechanic to repair damage to his car.

“There is real remorse. He is, apart from this, a good, hard-working man. He has lost his job and is now a relatively young man who wants a stain of dishonesty on his record.”

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Weldeab, 28, of Firtree Road, Erdington, Birmingham, was also ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC for Weldeab told him: “Things like taking from Amazon have an impact. The actions could have lost the company around £ 18,500.

“But this type of behavior affects other companies that rely on it to sell their goods, and it affects their brand image.

“You were a trusted employee. Companies like Amazon need to trust community members to come and work there for the company to continue.

“It has taken you a while to figure out that you were completely dishonest.

“It is a serious case that justifies a custodial sentence. The question is whether I should make it one you should serve right away. I’m just convinced I can suspend it. ”

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