A DISGRACED former employee of Waitrose in Haslemere has confessed to an extraordinary crime spree, stealing £63,000 worth of stock from the supermarket over a ten-month period last year.

Nick Tauwhare, 26, who lives in a £1.25 million house off Three Gates Lane, Haslemere, pleaded guilty to multiple theft and fraud charges at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Friday, December 11.

He was an employee at Waitrose at the time he was arrested on December 11, 2019, after officers received a call shortly before midnight to report he had been caught stealing from the store.

Officers then searched Tauwhare’s home address, where they found a haul of goods believed to be worth more than £25,000, as well as stacks of Waitrose trays which he had used to carry them away.

Officers also found flat-pack boxes, envelopes, stamps and bubble wraps, which they believed Tauwhare was using to sell on these items.

He later admitted during interview that a further £37,680 worth of items had been sold via four separate eBay accounts he was running.

The items taken, including boxes of toiletries, razors, chocolate and coffee, were estimated at a total value of around £63,315.94 – all taken between February 1, 2019, and December 11, 2019.

Tauwhare admitted stealing the items to fund his gambling habit and to repay the debt he had accumulated. He was charged on September 7 and appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Friday, December 11 where he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft from a shop and conversion of criminal property.

He was released on unconditional bail, to next appear at Guildford Crown Court for sentencing on January 11, 2021.

Investigating officer PC Andy Tindale said: “Tauwhare had been stealing large amounts over a period of months to fund a gambling addiction. This cannot be used as an excuse and this kind of criminality will not be tolerated in Surrey. We would like to thank everyone who assisted us in the investigation.”

A Waitrose spokesman thanked Surrey Police “for their actions” in bringing Tauwhare to justice, but declined to comment further, saying it was “a matter for the police and the courts”.