Agent sacked after stealing a bar of chocolate

An agent has been sacked after being caught on camera stealing a bar of chocolate from a rented flat during a viewing.

The distinctively dressed agent (his purple suit is in Cadbury colours) pocketed the bar of Galaxy as he showed prospective tenants round the flat in Walthamstow, Essex.

As the viewers left one room, he turned round, went back in and can be seen taking the chocolate and putting it into a pocket.

The current tenant, Jon Charter, is in the process of moving out and was trying out some new hidden security camera equipment he had bought for his new property.

The agent, named as George Castle, begged Mr Charter in a series of texts “not to take it any further” and begged to be allowed to go round an apologise in person, saying he was embarrassed and ashamed. He also said he suffered from fainting and dizziness and had been desperate for sugar.

However, Mr Charter called the estate agent’s boss at Your Move Sterling & Co – a franchise of Your Move –  who fired him.

Mr Charter said: “Estate agents are not the most popular of people at the best of times but you’d never expect something like this. It just destroys whatever trust you may have.”

The agent’s employer obviously agreed.

Manish Somani, director of Your Move Sterling & Co, said: “We take pride in the provisions of our services and we are very serious about the protection of our reputation and brand.

“Therefore as soon as we were made aware of this incident, action was taken and the employee is no longer working for us.

“We have also apologised to both the tenant and landlord for this unfortunate incident.

“The landlord has fully accepted this apology and the tenant has accepted a payment as a goodwill gesture for both the chocolate bar and any inconvenience caused.”

The incident has, however, been reported to police.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “On September 13 police received an allegation of theft alleged to have occurred around 3.15pm on September 12.

“The allegation relates to the theft of a chocolate bar at an address in Hoe Street, E17. Enquiries continue.”

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14 Comments

  1. Ewan Foreman

    I find several aspects of this incident extremely distasteful. Was the tenant concerned "trying out some new hidden security camera equipment" or was he a nosy parker fisherman looking for just such an incident? Was there any truth in the "fainting and dizziness" excuse? Was the agent given the opportunity to come clean before being presented with camera evidence? Was any objective, professional HR assistance sought? I accept the need for disciplinary procedures. I do not accept self-appointed moral judgement. If you have ever seen the redemption scene in Les Miserables with the Bishop and Jean Valijean – there is clearly no similarity here.

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  2. easy Chris

    I think that suit was justification for immediate dismissal on the grounds of bad taste…a job at purplebricks perhaps 🙂

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  3. AJS

    So the current tenant was filming people viewing the flat, did he disclose this to the agents? Because I would think that people viewing that flat should be told that they are being filmed.

    What the agent did was wrong, no doubt in that. But I find the secret filming during known viewing times to be more unsettling.

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  4. wilko

    To Lose your job for the sake of a bar of Galaxy….really some people…….Now if it was a Texan or Topic??…..I could understand it.

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    1. easy Chris

      I think you went off topic @wilko

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      1. AJS

        C'mon that was too easy…

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  5. FrankAbagnale

    I'm just as concerned the vendor filmed people without their permission, secretly watched the viewing live and then justified his own actions with excuses before publishing the footage online and starting a social media hate campaign which ended up with the poor boys face in the nationals. Ruining the career of some kid in a questionable suit who offered an apology, a reason (sort of) and recompense after committing the heinous crime of stealing a chocolate bar seems a tad disproportionate in relation to the crime.

    How do people feel about being filmed on viewings, whether you're a prospective purchaser or agent?

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  6. RealAgent

    One things for certain it's not a problem any of the online only agents will have to deal with, I mean showing prospective tenants a property, that was so last year.

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    1. easy Chris

      we actually offer that service if landlords need it,if not they don't have to pay for it

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      1. RealAgent

        And we actually offer a service whereby if we don't let it they don't have to pay for it.

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  7. Blue

    C'mon ! "professional" estate agents defending one of their own stealing from a client !

    Turning the "wrong" on to the victim because he was recording in his own flat !

    Really ? WTF !

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    1. FrankAbagnale

      I can't see anyone defending his actions, everyone above agrees he did wrong. But, they are also questioning the unsettling nature of being unknowingly filmed while doing your job.

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      1. Ewan Foreman

        @Frank Agree entirely. Much like a certain "yes" – "no" vote up here today people see these things differently. Truth is we don't know the full circumstances, however loss of employment seems more than sufficient punishment to me. The need to plaster this all over the internet has, for me, less decency and humanity than helping yourself to somebody else's chocolate bar – very wrong as that was. Perhaps we need a vote to decide!

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  8. 1stTimeBuyer

    Theft is theft. Taking belongs which do not belong to you seems somewhat worse when it is someone a/ a business you have entrusted with your property. Sacking was a good and the only call.

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