A man was jailed today for using an elaborate trick to steal more than £12,000 in cash from a businessman after he withdrew the money from a bank.
Victor Gonzalez, 53, had followed Alan Young as he returned to his car with the money inside a brown envelope after making the withdrawal from a bank in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
As Mr Young sat in the car, Gonzalez, a father-of-15 children from Chile, South America, ran up to the vehicle shouting "Money, money, money", Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Iain Wicks, prosecuting, said that when Mr Young looked out, he saw a number of £5 notes flying away in the wind and he assumed the money was his.
He got out of the car to pick up the money and returned to his car, but when he later checked the envelope which he had left in the car, he found it had been switched.
Mr Wicks said: "It was only when he got home and went to open the envelope that he realised that the money was gone and there was nothing but torn-up pieces of newspaper inside."
The hearing was told Mr Young returned to the bank, telling staff he had been "stitched up".
Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the offence of theft at an earlier hearing.
But he had claimed he was only set to receive £500 of the stolen money with the rest going to a British man who had found out about the planned withdrawal from the bank and had organised the theft.
Sentencing Gonzalez, who has previous convictions for theft, to 36 weeks in prison, Judge Ian Pearson said: "You are a thoroughly dishonest man.
"There is no doubt, bearing in mind the sum of money involved, this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate."
The court heard Gonzalez will be deported on completion of his prison sentence.Reuse content