A Bognor man tried to claim that £4,000 had gone missing from the safe where he worked – but his lie was quickly rumbled by CCTV which showed him stuffing it down his trousers.
Chris Lam, 39, was also caught stealing almost £20,000 from his previous Brighton employer after spending a lengthy period inputting fake refunds, a court heard.
Lam, of London Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by employee and appeared at Hove Crown Court today for sentencing.
Prosecutor Sophie Evans said: “He was working as a manager at Cotswold Outdoor and was refunding items which had not in fact been purchased and refunding them to his own bank details.”
Between August 2017 and March 2018 Lam stole £19,368.49 from the company, the court heard.
Ms Evans continued: “Mr Lam admitted [the theft] to his employers and resigned.
“He then took up his new employment at the CEX store as assistant manager.
“Very simply he went into the safe took out £4,000 and tucked it into is trousers.
“He then phoned his manager to say there was money missing from the safe.
“They looked at the CCTV and saw quite clearly that he was taking it and putting it down his trousers.”
Defence barrister Jason Halsey called on the judge to spare Lam immediate jail time so he can try and repay the stolen money.
“It is time for him to grow up,” he said.
The court heard that Lam struggled with debts and was not able to cope, turning to fraud to try and get himself out of trouble.
Judge David Rennie decided to delay sentencing for six months to allow Lam to demonstrate that he has changed and repay the money.