A FORMER store manager has avoided jail after being caught stealing over £14,000 from the shop tills.

Vijay Kapur was caught stealing money from the tills in the CeX shop in Slough where he used to work to fund his alcohol and cocaine addiction.

The 35-year-old took a total of £14,260.58 in cash from the electronics retail and repair store between January 31, 2022 and July 1, 2022.

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At Reading Crown Court on Tuesday (November 14), Kapur was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months after being charged with theft by employee.

During the sentencing, the court heard that Kapur had been the store manager at the time of the offence and was responsible for the store’s banking.

He had started to take small amounts of cash out of the till but eventually started taking more and more.

Eventually, the regional manager of CeX started to ‘get suspicious’ and asked Kapur to take £10,000 from the store’s safe and deposit it at a bank.

However, Kapur was unable to make the deposit as he had taken the money. When the regional manager visited, he found there was only £800 in the safe.

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Kapur admitted he had taken the money to the regional money and made the same admission at the first opportunity to the police when he was arrested.

Two other staff members also face disciplinary actions for knowing about the money being taken at the time but taking no action as Kapur had reassured them not to worry.

The court heard that Kapur had an alcohol and drug addiction at the time of the offence and has made ‘significant progress’ to address these issues.

Sentencing Kapur, Judge Joanna Matson said: “I accept you are genuinely remorseful. This is confirmed to me by everything I’ve read about you and the fact you openly admitted your involvement straight away.

“This offence was committed to fund a significant cocaine and alcohol problem. You’ve taken voluntary steps to address this. It’s clear you’ve been making progress with that.

“I agree this is out of character for you and you’ve clearly made drastic changes in terms of your addiction.”

Kapur, of Queen Street, Maidenhead, will need to pay the money back to CeX in full within 14 days as well as £425 in court costs.

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He will also need to complete eight months of drug rehabilitation and 20 rehabilitation activity days.

Judge Matson concluded: “You are very lucky Mr Kapur to not be going with that officer through the doors to the cells today.”