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East Ardsley businessman jailed for stealing charity bags

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AN East Ardsley businessman has been jailed for 21 months for dishonestly selling on clothing from bags meant for charities.

Eligijus Baljanas supplied second-hand clothing to markets in Eastern Europe but police discovered stolen charity bags both at his home on Woodlands Drive and in a container at the premises he used for storage on the Seckar Wood industrial estate in Wakefield.

Alisdair Campbell, prosecuting, said that after Baljanas moved to East Ardsley, witnesses noticed what they believed to be charity bags being delivered there.

As a result in July last year police executed a search warrant at the address and found a number of bags.

He maintained he put out his own bags and leaflets for his business Clothes Home Ltd, requesting second-hand items, which were collected by his drivers who might have legitimate access to such bags if given them as overfill.

Police executed a second search warrant on August 18 at the industrial estate where he had 10 containers and one was found to be between one-third and half full with 595 bags belonging to various charities.

Mr Campbell said it was not possible to say all the 595 bags were stolen but Baljanas accepted that at least 50 were.

Baljanas, 29, admitted handling stolen goods.

Jailing him, Judge Christopher Batty said instead of rejecting the charity bags “you weighed them in and you sold them for profit, taking the money away from their intended destination and to line your own pockets. You only have yourself to blame”.

 
 
 

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