A Bicester man who stole nearly £9,000 from his employer could have to cash in his pension following a confiscation order.
David John Stafford, 49, from Roman Way, pleaded guilty to stealing money from Hancocks Cash and Carry in Reading at the end of June.
At the time of his arrest in March, he told police he was in financial trouble and had spent all the money.
But further investigation revealed pensions with considerable funds, and Thames Valley Police was granted a confiscation order for £8,880 on October 22.
Stafford’s pension funds were found to be sufficient to cover the stolen amount, even though accessing them early would lead to a heavy tax penalty.
Det Insp Gavin Tyrell said: “This confiscation order sends a clear message to criminals that we will vigorously pursue all their assets, in whatever form and from whatever source, whether legitimately or criminally derived.
“It is also a reminder to the community that recovering victims’ financial losses is a priority for Thames Valley Police, even if this requires criminals having to incur expenses such as tax penalties in the process.”
Stafford has three months to pay the sum or will face six months in prison, and will still have to repay the money.