Security guard stole empty COVID vaccine bottles to sell on eBay

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Steven Flint, 34, stole empty COVID jab vials to sell on eBay. (Surrey Police)
Steven Flint, 34, stole empty COVID jab vials to sell on eBay. (Surrey Police)

A security guard who stole empty COVID jab bottles and sold them on eBay has been sentenced.

Steven Flint, 34, stole a large number of vials from three vaccination sites he worked at during the peak of the jab rollout last year.

But his scam was uncovered when incriminating post office CCTV footage and his eBay account details were spotted by authorities.

At Staines Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Flint, of Tadworth, Surrey, was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was found guilty of theft last month and pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing.

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Staines Magistrates' Court
He was sentenced at Staines Magistrates' Court. (Getty)

Officers also found empty vaccine vials as well as multiple receipts for packages posted to Flint’s eBay buyers.

He worked 13 shifts at the three vaccine centres in Surrey before he was arrested on suspicion of theft and fraud at one of the sites he worked at in February 2021.

Detectives also discovered Flint fraudulently used the details of a friend to set up a new eBay account to cover his tracks.

His own diligent admin also landed him in trouble, when police raided his home and found a pile of package receipts filed away that linked him to sales.

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Detective Inspector Paul Gordon from Surrey Police’s proactive investigation team said: "COVID vaccine vials remain the property of the NHS.

"Due to their sensitive medical nature, this ownership is maintained before, during and after the vials are used.

"Taking these items could only have been theft.”

Lorna Hart, Surrey Heartlands COVID vaccination programme director, said the NHS would never charge for a coronavirus jab and vaccines should only be used if they come from an official source.

She added: "The NHS will never charge for a COVID-19 vaccination and patients should only ever accept a vaccine from an NHS vaccination service.”