£100,000 stolen by rogue jeweller
Published Friday, 17 August 2012
A Hamilton jeweller has admitted stealing almost £100,000 worth of goods from customers.
Following investigations by Police and Trading Standards, Alan Morrison, who traded from Figaro jeweller's shop in the town's Quarry Street, admitted 13 charges of theft of jewellery, totalling £94,352, at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
The 55-year-old from Clarkston, Glasgow could now face jail when he is sentenced next month.
Morris had agreed to repair a wide range of items of jewellery for customers, including watches, rings, bracelets and necklaces, but these subsequently went missing. Morris then blamed other jewellers that he had subcontracted to carry out the repair work for the problems.
Strathclyde Police and the council's Trading Standards team launched an investigation after dozens of fed-up customers complained about Morris and the missing articles dating back to 2007.
Approximately £19,000 of items were recovered and returned to their original owners
As well as being prosecuted by Strathclyde Police for the theft, Morris was also the subject of enforcement action by Trading Standards under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and the Enterprise Act 2002.
Morris had initially provided an 'Undertaking' - a written legal promise - to Trading Standards to stop using unfair trading practices against consumers.
When he persisted, and subsequently breached the Undertaking, Trading Standards successfully obtained an Enforcement Order at Hamilton Sheriff Court last October.
The Enforcement Order now prevents Morris from using unfair trading practices in the future. Should he do so he runs the risk of being found in contempt of Court.
David Templeton, the council's Divisional Trading Standards Officer, said: "The partnership working in this case between Strathclyde Police and South Lanarkshire Council Trading Standards has successfully punished Morris for his past criminal activities.
"Crucially, our action prevents him from continuing them in the future.
"The Enforcement Order obtained against Morris not only safeguards the economic interests of local consumers but also protects the local economy by tackling rogue traders."