Wombwell and Bolton trio jailed for 100k warehouse theft

CRIME: Crime scene.
CRIME: Crime scene.

A trio of warehouse workers have been jailed for stealing £100, 000 worth of stock from their workplace which police said resembled “an Aladdins’s cave.”

The three men all pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol, televisions and other items from the WM Morrisons Warehouse at Cortonwood between November 2009 and August 2011.

Martin Heyworth, 26, of Barnsley Road, Wombwell, was an assistant night manager at the warehouse and was jailed for three years and four months.

Co-workers David Chatterton, 30, of Wath Road, Wombwell, and Michael Doherty, 56, of Commonwealth View, Bolton-on-Dearne, each received two years in prison.

Heyworth was arrested on suspicion of theft, which led to a search of his house and the discovery of £18,000 worth of alcohol, televisions, DVDs, and various other items.

In a statement after the case at Sheffield Crown Court, a South Yorkshire Police spokesman said the cellar of Heyworth’s home “resembled an Aladdin’s cave of champagne, spirits and other alcohol.”

Police investigations then led to the immediate arrest of Chatterton and Doherty, with other stolen items found at addresses in Wombwell.

A fourth man, 56-year-old William Claypole, of Littlefield Lane, Wombwell, pleaded guilty to handling a stolen television and received 100 hours community order.

Police have now applied to the courts to seize their ill-gotten assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Outside of court, detective sergeant John Yoxall said: “At a time when families shopping expenses are stretched, these men were stealing thousands of pounds worth of items from a supermarket. This is a cost which inevitably will be passed on to the consumer in one way or another.

“The greed of those involved is staggering and it was this greed that led to them being caught. They all abused the trust given to them by their employer.”

He added: “I would urge the public to report any suspicious activity that they see to the police as it could be the one piece of intelligence that could uncover a much bigger crime. It was from previous reports of suspicious behaviour that detectives were able to piece together the criminal activities of these men.

“Items from supermarkets that are sold on to the public may look like a great offer, but when times are hard, we would like to remind people that you could also be in just as much trouble for handling stolen goods.”