Superdrug theft gang get 21 years

A gang of drivers who conspired to steal more than £100,000 worth of Superdrug goods from a distribution centre have been jailed.

The seven men and one woman were sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday 1 April 2011 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal between March and June last year from the centre in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Security staff at the centre, in Arenson Way, suspected stock was being stolen after a number of Superdrug stores reported things missing from deliveries made by agency drivers.

An internal investigation identified a large number of deliveries with losses. On each occasion the vehicle was identified, revealing the drivers and driver’s mates responsible for each delivery.

Staff notified the police and on June 17 last year officers arrested ten people at work or addresses in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton. Police discovered high-value perfumes, aftershaves and cosmetics stored in boxes and suitcases in three properties at Priory Heights, Brittany Court and Parklands in Dunstable. A property in Houghton Regis had a dedicated set up for the onward sale of the stolen goods. The total cost of the goods stolen was in excess of £123,000.

Driver Petru Vesa, 52, of Trident Drive, Houghton Regis was today jailed for 4 years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at a hearing in March.

His wife, Gabriela Vesa, 48, of the same address was jailed for 3 years and 6 months having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at a hearing in March

Their son, driver’s mate Alexandru Victor Vesa, 33, of the same address, was jailed for 3 years and 8 months years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at a hearing in December.

Driver’s mate, Mihaita Sorin Joita, 29, of Brittany Court, Dunstable, was jailed for 2 years 4 months having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, at a hearing in March.

Driver Aurel Paul Cristea, 33, of the same address, was jailed for 2 years 8 months years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, at a hearing in March.

Driver’s mate, George-Diego Matei, 21, of Parklands, Dunstable, was jailed for 2 years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at a hearing in February.

Driver’s mate, Eduard Alexandru Banu, 21 years of the same address, was jailed for 20 months having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal at a hearing in March.

Driver Peter Harris, 50, of Hallwicks Road, Luton, was jailed for 18 months having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, at a hearing in March.
 
At an earlier hearing in September 2010, driver’s mate Marius Enache, 38, of Priory Heights, Dunstable, received 6 months custody suspended for 12 months and 150 hours community service having pleaded guilty to one count of theft.

After the sentencing, Senior Investigating Officer, DC Gill Cowley, said: “This was a well organised and sophisticated conspiracy. The male defendants exploited their positions of LGV delivery drivers and drivers’ mates for Superdrug to steal huge quantities of high value perfumes and toiletries which were for onward sale.

“The male defendants in this case were employed by TRG, which is a drivers’ agency. They were based at the Superdrug warehouse site at Arenson Way, Dunstable. It was an abuse of their employers trust and I am very pleased we have been able to disrupt this group.”

A confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act has been set for April 29 and September 12 at Luton Crown Court.

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