Laptop engineer trapped in TV sting

Nine months sentence for stealing bank details

A PC engineer was caught red-handed by an undercover TV reporter in a perfectly-executed sting - even though the journalist was investigating another matter.

Grzegorz Zachodni was sentenced to nine months at London Magistrate's Court after being caught stealing bank details from the reporter. The journalist was actually investigating the quality of service offered by laptop repair shops but covert software revealed that Zachodni took his fault investigations a step too far.

Zachodni was working at Laptop Revival, a computer repair shop in Hammersmith, when the reporter took her laptop to be fixed, it had a minor fault. The fault was a loose memory chip; a simple fault to fix but the engineer had an unusual approach.

Webcam footage and the covert software revealed that Zachodni spent 20 minutes looking at personal files, including a large number of the victim's photographs as well as files marked "private" - these contained the victim's bank details. He was also seen using a USB stick around his neck to copy details from the computer. He later made six attempts to access the reporter's bank details using the password and login details from the computer.

Sky News broadcast a news report of their investigation and then passed details of their enquiry to Metropolitan Police Service's Economic and Specialist Crime Unit. Zachodni was subsequently arrested.

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Maxwell Cooter

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