Gambling addict jailed for stealing £100k worth of iPhone 5s
A gambling addict who stole £115,000 worth of iPhone 5s and wedding gifts from his brother before fleeing to France has been jailed.
Usman Sethi, 24, raided his brother and sister-in-law’s safe at their home in Ilford while they were on holiday in September last year stealing gold and jewellery given to them just seven months earlier as a wedding gift and pawned it for £6,500.
When the couple returned Sethi told his brother he had taken the jewellery for safe keeping and put it in a locker at the O2 store in Colliers Wood where he worked as a senior sales consultant.
Sethi promised to return with the jewellery after work, but was instead caught on CCTV loading 252 new iPhone 5s, worth £115,000, into the back of a car after locking up the shop for the day.
The theft was reported the next day on Friday, September 21, and police traced the car to Dover where Sethi had boarded a ferry to France where he later sold the gadgets for £78,000.
On the run and having squandered the cash to fund his gambling addiction, Sethi returned to the UK after several months where he surrendered at Wimbledon Police station.
Appearing for sentencing at Kingston Crown Court today, the court heard how Sethi had been struggling with a gambling addiction and had stolen the jewellery and iPhones in a desperate bid to pay off his debts.
The phones were never recovered however the jewellery was later traced and returned to Sethi’s family.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft at Kingston Crown Court on February 12.
Sentencing Sethi to three years in prison, Mr Recorder Aiden Christie QC, said: "You were placed in a position of significant trust by your employer and you abused that trust in a very cynical fashion.
"I’m told that your offences were driven by a gambling addiction and that may reflect the way you went about committing the offence in relation to your employer."
He added: "You were allowed to stay in your brother’s house and you used that opportunity when he was away from home to get into his safe where he and his wife had been storing jewellery given to them at their wedding - items of significant emotional value.
"You abused that trust as well."