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Self employed delivery driver being accused of theft of company property - ** RESOLVED **


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Hi all.

 

I'm hoping someone can help me here.

 

I work for a well known delivery firm. I am self employed, or an owner driver / franchisee as they like to call us.

 

I have been accused of stealing a PDA - Or as we call them 'saturns'. It is the device which we scan parcels with when delivering etc. The incident occurred on January 8th 2021. The Saturn hasn't been seen since that date and I was the last user to login to it. I was signed out of it at 16:08 in the depot and it hasn't been seen since.

 

The company are now accusing me of theft. I have asked for them to review CCTV footage as the place is littered with it. One lad I have been dealing with seems to have a grin on his face every time I mention it to him and after speaking to him today (11th Feb 2021), he tells me they have reviewed the CCTV and apparently I didn't hand it back in.

 

I haven't seen the footage myself yet and they don't seem very forthcoming in showing it to me. I am seeking all avenues of help right now as they are just going to send me a bill - or should I say take it out of my wages at a cost of around £1200 without batting an eyelid and think I am not going to go without a fight.

 

Obviously I haven't stolen it and it would be of absolutely no use to me or anybody else for that matter so there really would be no point anyway.

 

I have been in touch with Citizens advice and whilst helpful, they mainly sent me a load of links of which some are relevant but others aren't. I will be speaking to them tomorrow on web chat to try and gain some more advice but I was wondering what your thoughts were?

 

Many thanks for any advice I get

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Hi,

 

for an item that expensive there would usually be a signing in and out procedure - was there? 

What does your contract say about company property?

 

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi

 

Thank you for the reply. The signing out procedure is literally just logging into it in the morning, and the signing in is scanning a barcode when you arrive back at the depot in the afternoon/evening. The last known whereabouts of the Saturn was me signing it back into the depot at 16.08hrs on Jan 8th 2021. Since that date it apparently hasn't been seen. 

 

In regards to company property on the contract, I am not sure in what aspect you mean, but there isn't really much mentioned.

 

Thanks

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So, there is a record of you signing it back in? Who is responsible for it, once it has left your hands/ is back in? I suspect that process or person is at fault.

 

Ask for a copy of the procedures for handling the equipment.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Yes there is a record of it, but apparently the CCTV doesn't show me handing it back in, of which I am yet to see the footage. The person responsible for it is the same person that scans all undelivered parcels back into the depot. After that they then go back into the office for the next day

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So, you need the procedure, to see if the responsibility shifts at the point of scanning, or some other point. So ask for the sign in and out procedure, and also, a copy of the record of them sharing that with you in earlier times.

Edited by Emmzzi
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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Unless its a tiny courier, I think they will have something, Whether they shared it with you is another matter.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Whilst all the above is relevant, what's also relevant is that they cannot simply deduct the cost from your pay on a whim. They have to have some proof that you stole it, you don't have to prove that you did not. They also have to have an agreement from you to deduct the cost from your pay (unless your contract provides for it). 

 

If their procedures do not keep track of it after you've finished using it that is hardly your fault. All they can say is that you had it whilst you were logged in and you logged out. It's a big leap from there to show that you stole it (i.e. took it without permission in order to permanently deprive them of it). 

 

Ask them to substantiate their claims with evidence rather than a suspicion and ask them what they intend to do if they continue to maintain that you stole it.

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I have asked several times for CCTV footage and originally I was told that the footage is poor and then all of a sudden it's good enough to pick me up not handing in the Saturn. But everytime I ask to see it I am fobbed off by being told someone is looking at it. There is nothing written in my contract that mentions paying back anything. I am awaiting to speak to the training guy to see if anything has been signed digitally, which I don't think there was but I await confirmation

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Ok. So next steps depends what happens next.

 

So, if they say you stole something, and it is of high worth, I would think the police should be involved. I would suggest you are happy for an investigation to clear your name, as you did not take it.

 

However if it all goes quiet and they don't try and bill you. let sleeping dogs lie; may be a fuss over nothing. If they are still using you - that probably says a lot. Why would they keep using a thief?

 

Be prepared for no more work from them, and to go to small claims to recover what is due if they deduct it from invoices.

 

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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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And of course if it goes a small claims, we will help you

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If it goes further  the point you have made about it being of no use to anyone else so why would you steal it is one to make. I assume it's a type of barcode reader that will only work when linked to their system?

 

It's pssible they might drop the allegation that you stole it and instead claim that you have been careless or negligent in the way you handed it in which has resulted in it being lost. Let us know what happens.

Edited by Ethel Street
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  • 1 month later...

So we have an update....

 

I saw the CCTV footage this morning from the next day.

 

Surprise surprise it sees me clear as day taking the Saturn from out of my van in the depot and after a few minutes I enter the office and turn right (where there is a cabinet that holds more Saturns), I can then be seen coming from the right and out of the door with a different Saturn - which matches up with scan records from that day of being a different device.

 

I spoke to the boss that didn't really know what to say and he was apparently under the impression that I never brought it back so I put him in his place and told him to see the footage.

 

The guy that showed me the footage genuinely stood there showing it to me yet at no point did he think 'hang on a minute, he's clearly going into the office to swap it out' and then told me to pursue in whatever course of action I think is best...

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Latest and final update on this...

 

Managed to get my money back as the footage from the CCTV was good enough evidence to prove I took it back to the depot. My persistance paid off and many other people wouldn't have gone through the process but there was absolutely no way I was been charged almost £500 for something I hadn't done. Maybe if a full investigation was done from the outset they would have realised and hey, I may have been none the wiser as they wouldn't have had to mention it to me.

 

The sad thing is I didn't get an apology but at least I won the case

 

Thanks to everybody that provided me with advice. Really appreciate it

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Well done for winning the case and thank you for coming back to tell us. I'll amend your thread title to show the result. :)

 

HB

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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  • honeybee13 changed the title to Self employed delivery driver being accused of theft of company property - ** RESOLVED **

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