A woman has admitted stealing designer jewellery worth thousands of pounds from a duty free store at Gatwick Airport.
Sussex Police say Lavanyah Anandarooban, of Erskine Road, Walthamstow, London, was exposed after an internal investigation found she was responsible for stealing items worth roughly £12,000 from World Duty Free, in Gatwick’s south terminal, between January and July this year.
Stolen items included Michael Kors jewellery and watches, Pandora bracelets and charms, a large amount of Swarovski items and a pink Radley purse.
Police were called to arrest Anandarooban at the airport on July 25 and the stolen goods were found in the bedroom of her flat later the same day.
At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday August 10, she pleaded guilty to theft by employee and was sentenced to a community order, with 150 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Sergeant Darren Taylor, of the Gatwick Airport Policing Team, said: “This conviction sends a clear message that theft on any scale – whether you are a passenger or an employee at Gatwick Airport – will not be tolerated. The airport is a safe and secure place, and anyone caught stealing will be dealt with robustly.
“As an employee based at the airport, you will probably end up with a criminal record in addition to losing your job, which could also affect future employment. As a passenger, you will also have a criminal record and run the risk of being refused on your flight.”
The vast majority of items stolen by Anandarooban have been recovered and returned to World Duty Free.
Sgt Taylor added: “Anandarooban pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, allowing the investigation to be brought to a quick conclusion.
“The encouraging thing about her sentence is she is required to carry out unpaid work, which will benefit not only the community, but her as well. Hopefully, she will learn from this and never come to our attention again.”
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