Trucker ran eBay scam selling straps used for securing heavy loads

Ipswich Crown Court

Slawomir Lobocki appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Monday - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich lorry driver who sold stolen ratchet straps, which are used to secure loads on heavy goods vehicles, on eBay has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Slawomir Lobocki was caught out after a transport company noticed its straps were being sold on eBay and arranged for a test purchase to be made from him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Forty-two-year-old Lobocki, of Campbell Road, Ipswich, admitted handling stolen goods worth £3,000 in January 2018 and was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and was given a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Sentencing him, Recorder Jeremy Benson said Lobocki had encouraged other lorry drivers to steal the straps by selling them on eBay for them.

“The items in question are regularly stolen by drivers and it causes road haulage companies a considerable amount of money each year to replace them," he said.

“By your activities, you provided a way for these dishonest drivers to sell their stolen goods. 

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“You, yourself, were a driver and therefore you knew in advance as to where this property was coming from and you also knew the problem and the expense caused to hauliers by the thefts."

The court heard that, of 900 ratchet straps found in Lobocki’s possession, he accepted that 204 of them were stolen.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said the straps, which cost about £15 each, belonged to six companies.

The court heard Lobocki told a probation officer that the stolen straps were brought to him by other people and he had taken a cut of the proceeds after paying PayPal fees.

He accepted being stupid and not thinking about the consequences of what he was doing and said lots of lorry drivers were doing it.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, during which Lobocki’s benefit from his offending will be assessed, will take place in January.

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