Warner Bros studio worker stole £37,000 worth of Harry Potter merchandise to sell over eBay

Adam Hill even used company's own franking machine to post swiped goods out to fans

Colin Drury
Friday 03 January 2020 16:53

A former Warner Bros Studio worker who stole almost £37,000 worth of Harry Potter merchandise to sell to fans on eBay has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Adam Hill took more than 1,000 items – including wands, ties, badges and key rings – from the studio’s stockroom over a four-month period.

The 35-year-old advertised the goods on a personal eBay account, then posted them to buyers from a local post office, St Albans Crown Court heard.

He even began using the company’s own franking machine at the studio in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, to send the stolen merchandise from the work post room.

But the thefts were discovered in March 2018 after colleagues noticed Harry Potter stock kept appearing and disappearing from under Hill’s desk.

In the internal investigation that followed, bosses found that Hill had sold 1,040 items worth £36,945. When his car was searched, 12 more parcels of Potter goodies were discovered, all ready to be posted out to unsuspecting fans.

Officers from Hertfordshire Police searched Hill’s home in the town of St Neots, Cambridgeshire, where they also seized Harry Potter ties, badges and key rings as well as more envelopes and packaging.

Jan Muller, prosecuting, said: “In a significant breach of trust, Adam Hill had the audacity to steal thousands of pounds of merchandise from Warner Bros in plain sight of his work colleagues; but they reported him after growing suspicious of the items constantly piling up under his desk.

“Subsequent scrutiny of Hill’s eBay and PayPal accounts revealed orders and payments received for goods which were found packaged up ready to send to buyers, giving him no option but to admit to his crimes.”

After Hill pleaded guilty to theft by employee in November, he was sentenced on Friday to 14 months in prison suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work.

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