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Jail term given to charity bag thief who stole and sold on donated clothing

Posted on 27th June 2014

A man who targeted charity containers in supermarket car parks and sold on stolen clothing has been jailed.

Arturas Krasauskas was given a 20-month sentence for his part in the theft of charity bags from the car park of Morrisons supermarket, in Buxton.

The 27-year-old, who is originally from Lithuania, was originally arrested after police spotted a suspicious van in the car park.

The van, which had a large amount of clothing in the back, was traced to a house in Stonefield Drive, Manchester.

A second van at that address was searched by police and also had a large amount of full charity bags in the back.

Krasauskas, of no fixed abode, was arrested at the time but left the country after being bailed. He was arrested again after re-entering the UK in March this year and charged with conspiracy to steal.

He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 20 months in prison at Derby Crown Court on May 9.

DC Gary Thomas, who led the investigation, said: “The knock-on effect of this type of crime is that it will discourage members of the public from donating their much-needed unwanted clothing, which can be the lifeblood of charities across the country.

“I would urge people to continue their good work helping both local and national charities and not be deterred by the actions of this criminal.”

Krasauskas is the second man to be jailed in connection with the offence. Earlier this year, Gintas Simkus, 40, was locked up for three years for conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

Simkus, whose address at the time was in Polefield Grange, Manchester, denied both charges but was convicted by a Derby Crown Court jury after a five-day trial.

A spokeswoman for Clothes Aid, which collects donated clothing to raise money for a range of UK charities, said: “The outcome of this case will serve as a strong deterrent to any potential fraudsters in the area.

“Being out on similar routes where bogus collections are being made, it’s important for us to be able to share suspect information with local forces like Derbyshire Constabulary, who are proactively clamping down on this type of crime.

“If bogus collectors are not brought to justice, the impact this will have on charities will be too great to measure and communities will begin to lose trust in this method of fund-raising.

“We would positively encourage anyone to continue donating so charities without shops can earn an income from this revenue stream. Our helpline can also assist with any concerns about authenticity over charity bags and clothes collections.”

The offences and original arrest took place in 2010.

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