Caught red-handed, air­port park­ing valet who stole from cars

Daily Mail - - News - By James Tozer

WHEN hol­i­day­mak­ers started to com­plain of thefts from ve­hi­cles left at an air­port car park, it was clearly a case for the fly­ing squad.

De­tec­tives set up a sting op­er­a­tion, leav­ing £25 in cash in an Audi to tempt the sus­pected thief.

And Mirosla Ma­ciag, 56, fell straight into the trap, pock­et­ing the money while park­ing the car for a meet-and-greet ser­vice. Of­fi­cers found the money on him and de­cided to search his home where fur­ther stolen items were dis­cov­ered.

Bosses had been able to find out who had ac­cess to the tar­geted ve­hi­cles and Ma­ciag’s name was said to have stuck out. Cash, Hugo Boss sun­glasses and two iPods worth £370 had all gone miss­ing.

Ma­ciag, who was born in Poland, ap­peared be­fore Manch­ester mag­is­trates on Mon­day and ad­mit­ted steal­ing from four cars last au­tumn. James Towey, prose­cut­ing, said the of­fences were se­ri­ous be­cause he had been granted a high de­gree of trust.

Pros­e­cu­tors ac­cepted Ma­ciag’s in­sis­tence that he had not stolen from six other ve­hi­cles from which items were miss­ing.

Alia Khokhar, in mit­i­ga­tion, said Ma­ciag had not been in trou­ble be­fore, ei­ther here or in Poland, and had turned to theft be­cause of fi­nan­cial de­mands be­ing made by his then part­ner.

‘The de­fen­dant sug­gests that he is not the only one who has ac­cess to the cars,’ she added. ‘Some cars are moved on at least two oc­ca­sions.’

Ma­ciag is now work­ing as a driver for Rolls-Royce, the court heard.

‘This is the first and last time he hopes to ap­pear be­fore this court,’ his lawyer said. ‘He has been very stressed out and fear­ful of the con­se­quences of ap­pear­ing at this court to­day.’ Ma­ciag, of Hey­wood, near Manch­ester, was sen­tenced to 18 months in jail, sus­pended for two years, and or­dered to do 200 hours of un­paid work. He was also told to pay £200 in costs and sur­charges. The other thefts re­main un­solved.

A Manch­ester air­port spokesman said: ‘We take all re­ports of crime on the air­port site se­ri­ously and in this in­stance we worked with Greater Manch­ester Po­lice.’

The case comes amid ac­cu­sa­tions of un­scrupu­lous mee­tand-greet firms dump­ing cars in fields, los­ing keys or of staff tak­ing ve­hi­cles for joy rides.

Guilty plea: Ma­ciag

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