A Boots employee, who lived a "lavish" lifestyle after pocketing £16,191 from the till has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
Store security reported the thefts to police after they noticed a shortfall in takings and police compiled 130 clips of CCTV footage of 42-year-old Russell Libranda stealing the cash while serving customers at the company's Heathrow Airport branch.
Libranda was arrested hours later and a police search of his flat revealed he was living beyond the means of a shop assistant.
A police spokesman said: “Libranda had evidently been living in a lavish fashion - his flat was packed with designer clothes and jewellery, numerous iPhones, computers and an expensive TV.
“We also found a shoulder bag, filled with £6,000 in cash, down the side of his wardrobe.
“When I watched the CCTV I was stunned to see he was doing this in view of customers and colleagues, who were distracted.”
Libranda stole £700 during his first weekend at the store and from there his “confidence quickly escalated” according to police.
In his first week he stole a further £3,500 and by week five he took almost £5,000.
Libranda pleaded guilty to one count of theft by employee and was ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation.