British sailor dismissed after selling stolen tech on eBay

The theft was discovered after eBay customers called the British Ministry of Defence to check the devices’ authenticity

A British military court has found a Royal Navy sailor guilty of stealing and selling specialist diver watches on online auction site eBay.

During hearings of the Bulford Military Court in Wiltshire, England, prosecutors revealed that Able Seaman Joshua Cheetham, 26, stole a number of elite commando watches during his work as a storeman on warship HMS Kent in Portsmouth.

Later he managed to sell six of the watches, which can work at a depth of 300 meters, reportedly for a total of more than £1,600. According to Cheetham’s lawyer Helen Easterbrook, quoted by the Daily Mail, he sold the watches in an effort to cover debts which were racking up, as he had lived “outside his means.”

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He found himself in a complete mess and made a very bad decision,” Easterbrook added.

Cheetham’s actions were uncovered in February 2021, approximately six months after the first offense, when eBay customers started contacting the defense ministry in a bid to verify the watches.

Sentencing Cheetham, Judge Robert Hill said that the sailor abused “a position of trust” and that his crime was so serious that dismissal was “inevitable.”

Besides being dismissed, Cheetham was handed down a three-month custodial sentence.

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