• June

    29

    2013

Theft from work feeds drug habit

A large manufacturing business in Auckland believed that they had drug problems on site with staff smoking marijuana during working hours in the company’s gardens and lawn areas.

Upon entering the premises and conducting our investigations, the drug problems were easily remedied. Surveillance captured the culprits smoking and passing the ‘joints’ around the group and drug testing was not necessary because they all admitted to the practice under interview and were dealt with accordingly.

However, during our interviewing and subsequent further surveillance it became clear that drugs were one problem and another was large scale theft of the company product.

Hidden cameras, physical surveillance and interviewing identified ‘David’ as the ring leader and primary culprit. We had gathered so much evidence during our investigation that the interview was a virtual formality but what shocked the client was what we found when (with his permission) we searched the culprit’s home.

The garage, lounge and one bedroom were literally filled to the ceiling with stolen product ready for sale at markets and to a professional ‘fence’. The product was worth tens of thousands of dollars at retail but was being sold for a fraction of its worth to pay for David’s drug and gambling habits, and church donations.

The client company in question had a generous staff purchasing system in place where staff, their families and friends could buy the product at a discounted rate but this had not been enough for our offender. My experience in recent years is that gambling and drug addictions have become even more prominent as catalysts for theft and dishonesty.

It was surprising to us then that ‘David’ had not only allowed us into his home without a search warrant, but that he admitted that much of the proceeds went to his church in the form of donations, largely out of expectation from his family but also to atone for his guilt and ongoing habits.

With our assistance the company in question has since changed some of the layout of the factory and dispatch areas as well as the perimeter security and parking of staff vehicles. I understand that this has greatly reduced the ability of staff to remove stolen property but as we know, theft is an ongoing problem and humans always seem to find ways to meet their greed.

But so long as culprits are made examples of and treated harshly by handing the matter to the Police, and if the remaining staff is fully aware of this policy maintained by the company, then they are less likely to entertain criminal thoughts.

Names and some details have been altered for reasons of confidentiality.

Rod Moratti is the principal at Moratti & Associates, Licensed Investigators since 1989. Feel free to contact Rod on 027-6958863 at any time or email rod@moratti.co.nz or visit www.moratti.co.nz

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