Man stole £40,000 worth of charity clothes from people’s doorsteps in Rainham scam
PUBLISHED: 17:03 17 November 2011
A young man has been convicted of stealing more than £40,000 worth of charity clothes in an international scam operating from an industrial site in Rainham.
Arnas Gasiuna, 27, of South Esk Road, East Ham, was found guilty of snatching the clothes from charity bins and people’s doorsteps across east London, at Basildon Crown Court on today.
Detectives were first alerted to the thefts last year after charity Clothes Aid reported a huge number of bags going missing.
The bags were traced to the Ferry Lane industrial site, where detectives discovered a shipping container filled with more than 300 sacks of clothing weighing 20 tonnes.
The bags, which were originally intended to raise money for UK charities including the British Heart Foundation, NSPCC and PDSA, were instead set to be transported to Eastern Europe and sold for a significant profit.
Gasiuna was arrested at the site on October 27 last year as he tried to load the bags for shipping.
He will now be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on November 28.
Detective Sergeant John Kirby, who led the investigation for Havering police, said: “A haul of this size proves that Gasiuna had been operating in an organised manner for some time. The clothes were stolen from doorsteps and registered charity clothes bins with a view to sell them on in Eastern Europe.
“This man was not only duping generous homeowners who took the time to donate their clothes but was also robbing charities of an essential form of income. Today’s result proves how seriously we have taken this crime and we hope it will deter others from stealing from registered charities.”
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