Salesman stole iPhones to keep girlfriend happy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 April, 2013, 3:57am

An IFC Apple store salesman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing 40 iPhones to pay off his then-fiancée's debts and to hold a lavish wedding banquet.

Kan Siu-kei's fiancée Luka dumped him in 2010 because he was not well off, barrister Charles Chan, for the 28-year-old defendant, told Eastern Court in mitigation.

After the pair got together again early last year, Kan committed the "foolish" crime of stealing about 40 units of the iPhone 4S, worth a total of HK$260,000, to repay Luka's debts of HK$200,000 and to hold the extravagant banquet she demanded, Chan said.

Kan did not wish to trouble his parents - who run a frozen food store at a wet market - by asking for assistance as they had helped him with the down payment of his flat, the court heard.

He bought the flat as he planned to marry Luka, and was spending HK$7,000 a month in mortgage payments. He was then earning HK$19,000 a month as a salesman.

The barrister said Luka disappeared a week after Kan's arrest, and he had been unable to contact her.

Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai said the circumstances did not amount to mitigation, as Kan had made the choice to steal.

The court heard that he stole the iPhones between early June and June 20 last year.

The case was uncovered when a senior operations manager found on closed-circuit television footage that Kan had been the last person to handle the stolen property.

When confronted, Kan admitted to his superiors that he had stolen the iPhones.

A medical report submitted to court stated that he was suffering from "adjustment disorders, depressive moods and anxiety".

The case was adjourned until April 26 when sentencing would take place, pending background, psychiatric and psychological reports. Kan remains in custody.

Chan told the court that Kan was able to compensate the company for its loss.