"His greed undoubtedly got the better of him."
UPS Security guards, Mohammed Miah, aged 43, Jaleel Khan, aged 30, Soyfur Rahman, aged 38, and Mohammed Aamar, aged 28, all from the West Midlands, have been jailed for stealing iPhones and goods worth over £200k from the depot they worked at.
They were jailed after a hearing at Warwick Crown Court on December 22, 2018.
For their offences, Miah from Kingstanding was jailed for four-and-a-half years, Khan from Walsall received two years and ten months, Rahman from Saltley was jailed for 21 months, and Aamar from Edgbaston was sentenced to 13 months in jail, for receiving stolen property from the others.
The gang employed by the UPS distribution located at the Birch Coppice Business Park in Dordon, near Tamworth; stole the phones and goods which were to be delivered to destinations like Vodaphone and Carphone Warehouse.
The men went on social media to boast about how easy it was for them to steal the boxes of iPhones and goods from their employer.
The court heard how the gang were caught after a number of strategic security cameras were deployed at the depot at specific spots in 2015 in a bid to curb losses occurring at the centre.
Russell Pyne, prosecuting, said the UPS depot was a busy site handling 200,000 packages a day and the CCTV caught Miah and Khan shifting boxes in a restricted area in August 2015.
Each of the five boxes which were stolen that weekend contained 70 iPhones according to the UPS security consultant, Ellis Grocock.
Grocock explained that a single phone missing from a box would be quickly detected at the depot or by the receiving customer. Carphone Warehouse or Vodaphone in this instance.
Therefore, “the whole box would have been taken” in order for the phones stolen not to be spotted so easily.
Thus, concluding that even when a single iPhone was found at the home of a defendant, it meant that boxes were stolen by them from the UPS centre.
Six boxes in total were said to have been stolen by the security guards.
The court was told during ‘a trail of issue’ that 29 iPhones were discovered by officers in Mohammed Miah’s van on his drive and then two were found inside his home when he was arrested.
Indicating that 27 iPhones in Miah’s possession came from one of the six boxes stolen.
In addition to the phones, Miah had stolen cosmetics and clothing from the depot which were found in his van, in his house and at a rented storage unit under his name.
At the home in Walsall of the second gang member, Jaleel Khan, officers recovered 535 stolen goods worth £3,753.
Stolen items worth £7,476 were found at Soyfur Rahman’s home in Saltley.
It was revealed that these three men from the gang had been selling the stolen goods online, including on eBay.
The final member of the UPS security guards, Mohammed Aamar, whilst was not actively involved in the thefts had received goods worth approximately £1,300 from the others, which he then subsequently sold.
Miah and Khan claimed they had not stolen the number of phones the prosecution stated. Miah said he had only stolen 57 phones during his role as a security guard at the UPS depot.
However, Miah had posted on social media that he had 150 phones at one point after having access ‘an ever-increasing amount’.
Commenting Miah’s claims, Judge Anthony Potter said:
“He was taking full advantage of his position to abuse it.”
Other messages also depicted that Miah had a 60-40 share with Khan. Which indicated Miah was the ringleader of the operation. Commenting Judge Potter said:
“I am quite satisfied Mr Miah was the leader, and I am satisfied he took at least 50% of each consignment.
“I find he was responsible for stealing a total of 555 phones worth £189,055.”
Miah’s defence lawyer, Delroy Henry said:
“His greed undoubtedly got the better of him. Although there was a bid to minimise his role, it was never going to be litigated in front of a jury.”
Khan’s lawyer, Martin Liddiard told the court that Khan owed Miah money and what he did was a “favour” to repay him:
“He spoke of Mr Miah, who had been working there before and who had cajoled him and told him he had been taking stuff from the place where they worked.
“He had something of a gambling problem.
“Mr Miah had lent him some money, and it was suggested at an early stage he would be doing Miah a favour and repaying some of the money he owed.”
Rahman’s claim he only stole ten single phones was dismissed by the judge. Because in fact, he had nearly 20 phones from one of the stolen boxes.
Rahman’s lawyer, Zaheer Afzal, said that his involvement in the theft at the depot was due to him being in debt to the bank after his business failed.
Aamar’s layer, John Brotherton, argued that he was only in receipt of a small number of the stolen goods and did not actually steal anything from the UPS centre.
However, according to Birmingham Live, when sentencing the gang, Judge Potter wanted to make it clear to the men that they were employed by UPS to actually ‘guard’ such incidents rather than be the thieves themselves, saying:
“That you were here employed to guard against this danger is the most aggravating feature one can think of.”
“The sheer scale of the thefts is encapsulated by the fact that it took the police over 600 hours to catalogue over 2,400 items that were recovered from your properties – and that is only a fraction of what you Miah, Rahman and Khan had stolen.
“The extent of your dishonesty, Mr Miah, is such that you had rented a Transit van and a storage facility in Wednesbury to disguise the amount of property you had stolen.
“You Mr Rahman may not have taken the leading role that Mr Miah took, but you broke seals on lorries on at least ten occasions to gain entry to steal products.”
As for Mohammed Aamar, who did not steal any goods, Judge Potter said:
“You did not steal from the depot, but you were aware your colleagues were stealing, and you sought to benefit and you were given stolen items.”
According to UK law firm, Warner Goodman, a poll was commissioned by Kit Out My Office, to estimate the cost of UK employee theft.
The results of the poll found that an estimated 15 million workers confessed to employee theft with the cost of stolen items averaging at £12.50.
This means that the cost of such theft to UK employers totals to about £190 million each year.