Graham Mays, 53, from Alan Way, Colchester, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to taking items from vehicles between August 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014, the East Anglian Daily Times reported.
Ipswich Crown Court heard from prosecutor Catherine Bradshaw that, as a senior sales executive at Lancaster Mercedes in the town, Mays would collect cars which were to be part-exchanged at the dealership. He would then take items left in the vehicles and sell them on eBay.
These were things with a relatively low value, such as Bluetooth cradles and sat-navs, reported the newspaper. The court heard Mays had made £5,276.12 selling such items over a two-year period.
In mitigation, Stephen Spence said the cars collected by Mays were several years old and were going to be auctioned off by his employer. Mr Spence argued that the items May had taken would have made little difference to the prices achieved.
Lancaster Mercedes no longer employs Mays and had withheld £4,500 of salary from him, added Mr Spence. He explained that Mays was of previous good character and that he did not believe he was the only employee acting in this way.
Judge David Goodin said: ‘I can see how institutionalised dishonesty of this nature can become accepted, even endemic in circumstances where there is no obvious loss to your employer.
‘It remains the case, as you know, that actually they do not belong to you, they belong to your employer.’
As well as the unpaid work order, the East Anglian Daily Times said, Mays was ordered to pay £776, a sum which took into account his withheld salary, and costs of £425.