Rumbled: the two thieves of Rug Doctor and the woman who advertised machines for sale on Facebook

Two Birmingham thieves stole £15,000 worth of rented carpet cleaning machines and then resold them on the internet. But they and the teenager who announced them were found after using their own details in the scam.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Dandre Day and Danny Scott had targeted Rug Doctor, who hire out carpet cleaning machines, worth £420 each, from shops and supermarkets, charging £25 a day. Prosecuting officer Dean Easthope said if the machines were not returned the company would launch an investigation.

He said the two defendants used their own and also fake names, as well as different bank cards, during the two months of fraud between November 2019 and January 2020. Mr Easthope told the court: “The thefts were traced back to them by bank cards as well as CCTV of stores and online advertisements.”

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Scott was responsible for the theft of 22 Rug Doctors and Day for 14. A company investigator searched social media and found most of the stolen machines advertised on Facebook Market Place while some were on Gum Tree and eBay.

The adverts had been placed by Courtney Tilley, with the machines being offered for sale between £200 and £250. And for two of them, Dandre Day and teenager Courtney Tilley, it was the second time they’d been involved in a fraudulent, unsophisticated scheme after using a supermarket’s cash register to steal expensive electrical appliances.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Danny Scott and Dandre Day had targeted Rug Doctor who hire out carpet cleaning machines, worth £420 each, from shops and supermarkets, charging £25 a day.

Scott, 34, of Chilvers Grove, Kingshurst and Day, 21, of Kingstanding Road, Kingstanding, who had previously admitted to the theft, were sentenced to nine months suspended for two years. Scott was ordered to pay £9,240 in compensation and Day £5,880.

Tilley, 19, of Watson Road, Alum Rock, who admitted handling stolen property, was given a six-month community order and ordered to pay £1,680 compensation. Will Harrington, for Scott, said that since the offenses the defendant had formed a relationship, started a family and found a job.

“There were only three occasions where he didn’t present his own bank card. It seems like the least professional exercise that would ever lead to discovery,” he said. Andrew Jackson, for Day, said there was a lack of sophistication and his remorse was genuine.

While Karl Templar-Vasey, for Tilley, said she was naïve and immature and that financially she had been in a tough spot. In October, city magistrates heard that Day, his girlfriend Tilley had crated hundreds of pounds of goods in the form of fruit and vegetables at an Asda in Sutton Coldfield.

Unfortunately for them, however, security followed their commotion and they were arrested after CCTV footage captured using the self-checkout cameras was released as part of a police call.

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