Carpet cleaner pawned £22,500 of jewellery stolen from customers

Craig Friel sold the items including two rings for just £2,763 at a pawnbrokers in North Lanarkshire.

Carpet cleaner Craig Friel pawned £22,500 of jewellery stolen from customers in East Dunbartonshire SNS Group

A carpet cleaner has admitted stealing £22,500 worth of jewellery from three customers.

Craig Friel, 23, stole the items from properties in Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire. 

Friel was working for his father’s business W Friel and Son at the time in October 2021. 

He later sold the items including two rings to a pawnbrokers in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, and pocketed £2,763.

First offender Friel pled guilty on Tuesday at Glasgow Sheriff Court to three charges of theft. 

The court heard that Friel appeared with his dad William at the first property in Kirkintilloch on October 5.

Prosecutor Sean Docherty said: “They came to carry out carpet cleaning work and the work was carried out.”

The homeowner then went on holiday for two weeks and returned home to find jewellery missing from her bedroom. 

Mr Docherty said: “She was not aware of anyone else being in the bedroom other than her family and the carpet cleaners.”

Friel and William attended another job in Bishopbriggs on October 13.

The homeowner at that address initially was not aware anything was missing from their home.

The pair then attended a third address in Kirkintilloch on October 25.

Mr Docherty said: “The carpet cleaning work was carried out and later that day the homeowner realised jewellery was missing from her bedroom.”

The police were contacted and they asked Friel to attend a station which he did.

Friel immediately confessed to officers that he had taken the jewellery.

Mr Docherty said: “He stated he pawned the items at a pawnbrokers in Cumbernauld.

“The pawnbrokers confirmed he had attended and pawned various items.

“The valuation that the pawnbroker gave to Friel was £2,763.”

All items except two rings valued at £9,750 were recovered.

Judith Hutchison, defending, told the court: “As far as the pawnbrokers go, I do not know if they have been re-embused for the jewellery they paid out on.”

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month by Sheriff Gerard Considine.

Friel, of Kirkintilloch, had his bail continued meantime.

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