Hatfield man sentenced for selling goods worth over £50,000
PUBLISHED: 10:51 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 23 July 2020
A Hatfield man has been sentenced after trying to sell stolen goods online worth over £50,000.
Mihai-Gavril Chifan of Woods Avenue pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court on Wednesday, July 22, to three counts of handling stolen goods.
The 43-year-old was then sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, as well as 80 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months.
Chifan was arrested on October 11, 2018 after police were made aware of him trying to sell stolen equipment online, where three items of topographic technology were linked to him worth £20,000 (but valued by him at £16,000), £14,000 and £22,700.
He was caught after a member of the public spotted an ad for high value Leica Geosystems surveying equipment for sale online on October 1, 2018, and then contacted Leica Geosystems to check if the item had been stolen.
After checks with the original customer, it was deemed that a TS16 (A) Total Station worth £20,000 was stolen just a few days earlier. The exact item was now for sale online. From this point, an investigation started where checks found it had been stolen in a burglary in November 2017.
Officers seized Chifan’s mobile phone and found a deleted image file were four pictures of stolen Leica items had the date, time and location as Hatfield.
During interview, Chifan said he had purchased the equipment at a car boot Sale in April or May 2018 for £2,500. He also claimed to have driven to London to withdraw cash from his bank accounts to pay the seller, although analysis showed no withdrawals totalling this amount.
On analysing his bank records, police found a further transaction for a TS15 (D) on February 7, 2019, he had been transferred £7,500 in installments for this and this was later revealed to be stolen from Leica Geosystems between February 7 and 8 in 2016.
Det Con Anita Sharma, who lead the investigation, said: “This whole case was built on the vigilance of an eagle-eyed member of the public who had serious doubts over the legitimacy of Chifan’s adverts. Chifan clearly has little regard for the law and as a result will now have to deal with the punishment. He will face future confiscation proceedings, meaning he will have to pay back the financial benefit from his criminal conduct.”
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