Thief faces jail after eBay tip-off


A thief raided the homes of rich students at St Andrews University before flogging the designer goods he stole on eBay and Gumtree.

Robert Watson could face jail over a series of raids that saw him steal £17,000 worth of jewellery, designer clothes and top-brand electronics.

He then took the goods back to his flat in Dundee where he and his partner listed them on online selling sites.

The con was only discovered when one of his victims spotted her gear listed on eBay and called in police.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that Watson raided five properties and was caught selling items from a sixth that had been hit.

She said: “The thefts took place between September 27 and October 9.

“On October 11 witness Louisa Dodge said she found items that had been stolen were on eBay and Gumtree.

“It was discovered the seller appeared to be the accused’s partner who lived with him.

“Items such as Versace sunglasses and Beats headphones were seen to be listed.

“A search found items of jewellery that had been stolen in their property.

“Internet searches on their devices found they had looked up values of items that had been stolen.

“Other items stolen include a vintage Chanel handbag left to one of the complainers by a grandparent, and a Barbour jacket.

“There was also a pouch containing vintage coins that had been written on by the complainer’s late father that were recovered.”

Watson (57) of Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to five charges of theft and one of reset.

Defence solicitor Anne Duffy said: “It is some ten years since his last conviction for an offence of dishonesty.

“He is under no misapprehension that custody will be at the forefront of the court’s mind.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and released Watson on bail meantime.