A FedEx delivery driver stole almost £12,000 of high value mountain bikes because he said he was short of work during the pandemic.
Mohammed Karbhari, 30, was caught when three pedal cycles went missing in transit from the FedEx depot between June 17 and June 25 2020.
A further bike was stolen on July 3 – when bikes were in high demand due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Preston Crown Court heard drivers at the depot would scan items before loading them into their vans for delivery.
But when an £1,800 Connondale Top Stone Bike, destined for a customer in Mawdesley, did not reach its destination, private investigators were brought in.
CCTV revealed Karbhari scanning parcels and loading up his van before driving to a separate area and loading up the bike, without scanning it.
He did the same with a Santa Cruz Tall Boy bike, worth £7,300 and a further Cannondale Top Stone bike.
Karbhari was called in to speak to investigators and confessed he had taken the bikes and sold them for £100 each. However they were returned the following day in the same condition – although they had been partly assembled.
He claimed he was in financial difficulty as his hours had been cut during the pandemic and was struggling to pay his mortgage.
He was sacked from his job but following his dismissal a further theft was uncovered – a £1,400 Giant mountain bike.
Karbhari, of Romney Walk, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by employee.
The Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham, sentencing, said: “It is clear you targeted these high value items.
“You were paid to take care of and ensure the subsequent delivery of goods for customers. You did exactly the opposite.”
He sentenced Karbhari to 10 months suspended for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 15 days rehabilitation.
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