Bluewater warehouse worker John Lewis jailed after stealing £45,000 worth of Apple AirPods, Windows and Samsung products

A John Lewis store worker who stole more than £45,000 of tech, including Apple laptops, phones and AirPods, has been jailed.

Lai Uong worked at the Bluewater branch in Greenhithe, near Dartford, for more than 17 years before an internal investigation was launched after stocks continued to disappear.

Lai Uong was imprisoned after admitting to handling stolen property. Photo: Kent Police

As part of the probe, a test purchase was made for some Apple AirPods that were sold on an online sales site, connected to Uong.

Officers searched the 47-year-old’s property and found Apple products with a retail value of £33,799. The goods were later confirmed to be John Lewis shares.

They also found there had been sales of over £24,000 worth of electrical goods on the online site.

Customers who bought the goods requesting serial numbers for the products were also interviewed and they were all confirmed to be the department store’s stock worth £11,799.

In total, the retail price of the stolen stock was £45,598.

The proceeds were confirmed to be John Lewis shares
The proceeds were confirmed to be John Lewis shares

The court heard how, between October 2017 and June 2018, products from brands including Apple, Windows and Samsung disappeared from the store’s warehouse.

Items included laptops, wearables and cell phones.

Uong from Southfields, Gravesend, was jailed at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday after he admitted handling stolen property.

He was jailed for two years and eight months, ordered to pay £170 in costs and a claim for proceeds of crime was launched.

Investigator Jacqueline Brown of the Bluewater Police Team said: “After a long and protracted investigation, I am pleased with the outcome reached by the courts, it demonstrates our desire to achieve the best possible outcome for the victims and to hold offenders accountable for their actions.

“His employer placed great trust in him, and he not only let his employer down, but he also lost his job and will now be serving time behind bars for handling the stolen items.”

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