Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Romanian gang stole £4,400 of perfume in one day during 4-month spree across UK

A gang of female Romanian shoplifters who stole more than £4,000 worth of perfume in one day during a nationwide spree have been spared jail.

The Birmingham-based quartet targeted busy shopping centres across the country, walking in with big empty bags and helping themselves to luxury fragrances including £200 bottles of Chanel.

All four later pleaded guilty to theft offences, but each was handed a community order after the judge said it was ‘perfectly clear there are others in control’ of the operation.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the spree was ‘organised’ and their travel up and down the country to steal the goods was ‘financed’ by someone else.

In total, Geanina Stan, 22, Daniella Stoian, 20, and mothers-of-three Angelica Marin, 18, and Samirateanca Bucurestean, 20, stole £6,101 worth of perfume in separate thefts in Bristol, Northampton, Telford and Worcester over a period of four months.

When caught with £4,283 worth of designer fragrances in a John Lewis store in Bristol on February 14, Stan and Stoian said they ‘took the items as gifts for friends for Valentine’s Day’, prosecutor Alison Scott-Jones said.

She told the court: ‘This case concerns a group of Birmingham-based Romanian women who travelled around the country.

‘They visited busy shopping venues where they blatantly stole large quantities of expensive perfume from large stores.

‘They made immediate admissions and showed remorse for their actions. There is an overtone of organisation because their travel was financed.’


On January 12 the women went to a Boots in Northampton ‘where their behaviour drew immediate attention because they both carrying large empty bags’.

Miss Scott-Jones said: ‘They were observed removing items from the perfume cabinet and placing them in their bags. Both women then left the store making no attempt to pay for the goods.’

When confronted the women were found to have two Chanel fragrances worth £200.

Just over a month later all four were captured on CCTV stealing multiple bottles of perfume from John Lewis.

When interviewed, Stan said: ‘I saw the perfume. I liked it. I took the items as gifts for my friends for Valentine’s Day.’ Stoian made similar claims.

Sentencing the women, Judge Sarah Buckingham said: ‘This was a pre-planned operation and an example of organised offending.

‘You travelled the length and breadth of the country carrying out these offences.

‘I am prepared to accept there is little evidence that either of you are part of the planning committee deciding which shops should be targeted and what should be taken.

‘It is perfectly clear there are others in control.’

Lynette McClement, mitigating for Stoian, said she had one child and was 26 weeks pregnant and had spent five weeks on remand.

Haroon Khattak, mitigating for Stan, said she was not employed because of her child caring responsibilities and she was deeply remorseful.

Mr Khattak said: ‘She speaks very little English and her financial means are limited.’

Stan, from Sparkbrook, was given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 50 hours of unpaid work after she pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.

Stoian, from Small Heath, had previously admitted theft and was also handed a 12-month community order.

Marin, of Bordesley Green, admitted three charges of theft from a shop, assault by beating, and failing to answer to bail.

She was handed an 18-month community order involving 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 40 hours of unpaid work.

Bucurestean, also from Sparkbrook, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft from a shop and was given a 12-month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 30 hours of unpaid work.

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