John Lewis worker stole Apple and Samsung laptops and phones worth £45,000 from stockroom

Lai Uong was jailed for two years and eight months at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday 20 June. Credit: Kent Police

A stockroom worker who stole more than £45,000 worth of Apple, Windows and Samsung items from John Lewis at Bluewater, and then sold the goods online has been jailed.

Lai Uong of Southfields, Gravesend, worked at the store for more than 17 years. An internal investigation was launched after stock continued to go missing from the store.

The 47-year-old was jailed for two years and eight months at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday 20 June 2022 after admitting handling stolen goods.

The court heard how between October 2017 and June 2018 stock - including laptops and mobile phones, from brands including Apple, Windows and Samsung, were going missing from the store’s stockroom.

Lai Uong was sacked from his role at John Lewis at Bluewater Credit: Google Earth

As part of an internal investigation, a test purchase was made for some Apple AirPods which were being sold on an online selling site, connected to Uong. The item was later confirmed to be John Lewis stock.

Officers carried out a search of Uong’s property and found Apple products with a retail value of £33,799. These were later confirmed to have been John Lewis stock. Officers also found there had been sales of more than £24,000 of electrical goods on the online selling site.

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

Investigating officer Jacqueline Brown of the Bluewater Police Team said: "After a long and protracted investigation I am pleased with the outcome achieved from the courts. This demonstrates our willingness to get the best possible outcome for the victims and hold offenders to account for their actions.

"His employer placed a lot of trust in him, and not only did he let his employer down but he also lost his job and will now serve time behind bars for handling the stolen items."