In the Media

Fraudster jailed for hiring and then eBaying diggers

PUBLISHED April 11, 2012

Arcaini, 39, hired vehicles then advertised them as his own on the online auction site.

He was part of an organised criminal gang who conspired to steal vehicles from across Greater Manchester.

But he was caught when a boss at one hire company grew suspicious and called police.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Arcaini, from Moor Lane, Northenden, stole 14 diggers and trucks from across the region, worth a total of £217,000.

Some were stolen outright and sold, while others were hired, never returned, then put up for sale on eBay. Nearly £100,000 of stolen equipment was never recovered - but Arcaini will not have to pay compensation because he has large personal debts.

In May last year, Arcaini hired a vehicle from the firm Buildbase - then put it up for online auction later the same day.

A customer from Bristol bought the machine for £7,500 while Arcaini told Buildbase the digger had been stolen.

But police checks later revealed the defendant used his own bank details to sell it on the internet.

Arcaini was caught out after hiring a £15,000 digger from vehicle dealer Brian Charlesworth in February last year, which he never returned.

Mr Charlesworth rang police with the licence plate details of Arcaini's Audi.

Officers arrested him at his Northenden home, where they also found documents which linked him to a string of other thefts.

Arcaini later pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one of fraud, and asked for 13 other theft and fraud offences to be taken into account.

He also admitted charges of dangerous driving, and driving a stolen Land Rover.

Mark Shepherd, defending Arcaini, said he was an out-of-work mechanic who had fallen in with an organised criminal gang.

He said Arcaini had suffered health problems and a death in the family and was trying to turn his life around.

Arcaini was sentenced to 38 months in jail. No one else has been arrested or charged in connection with the thefts.