Credit cards

Former sergeant jailed for using credit cards stolen from colleague to buy iPhones

A former sergeant was jailed for 22 months in district court on Friday after he twice stole a colleague’s credit card to buy three iPhones in 2019.

Johnny Lau Chun-ning, 36, had previously pleaded guilty to six counts of theft and deception of property for stealing two Hang Seng bank credit cards that belonged to his colleague Leung Lok-lun at Sheung Shui Police Station between February 11 and 25, 2019.

He then spent HK $ 11 at a McDonald’s store in the Good Hope Building in Mong Kok on February 28, 2019 and bought three iPhone XS from the Apple Store in New Town Plaza in Sha Tin and the one in Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui between February 26 and 2 March 2019.

During sentencing, District Judge Katherine Lo Kit-yee criticized Lau for not thinking about the consequences of his crimes despite his job as a police sergeant.

She continued that if Lau felt truly guilty after committing the crime for the first time, he should have gotten rid of the credit card directly.

She added that Lau committed the carefully planned crimes within two weeks, which made the nature of his case more serious than keeping a lost item for himself.

Meanwhile, Lo accepted that Lau was under a lot of pressure and his mentality was affected at the material time.

The defense also pointed out that Lau’s wife is involved in another case being handled by the Independent Commission against Corruption, and expressed concerns that their young son will be left unattended while the wife is sentenced.

Since Lau pleaded guilty and compensated his colleague, Lo believed he would no longer commit the crime and sentenced him to 22 months in prison.

The summary of facts, accepted by Lau, stated that he had first stolen Credit Card A from Leung’s locker and had used the card twice at McDonald’s on a trial basis. After Leung got the replacement credit card B, Lau stole the new card and returned the old card to Leung’s wallet.

Lau then used Credit Card B again at McDonald’s before purchasing three iPhone XS at two Apple Stores. Leung discovered that someone was using Credit Card B and deactivated the new card. Lau then exchanged the deactivated credit card B for the original card A.