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Two women aged in their 40s were jailed for a series of purse-dipping offences in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford at Hatfield Remand Court on Saturday March 25.
Viorica Calescu, age 44, and Simona-Carmen Barabas, age 42, both of Chester Close in Luton, were arrested for purse-dipping (pickpocketing) offences during February and March this year.
Calescu was sentenced to 58 weeks imprisonment and Barabas was sentenced to 40 weeks imprisonment. They were both also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.
They were jointly charged with:
- Stealing a purse from underneath a pushchair at 4.20pm on March 17, 2017 in Boots in St Peter’s Street. This offence was caught on CCTV.
- Stealing a purse from a coat in the back office of JoJo Maman Bebe in Church Green in Harpenden on March 7, 2017.
- Stealing a purse in Poundland in the High Street, Watford, between 2.30pm and 3.10pm on February 28, 2017.
- Stealing a £400 mobile phone from a woman’s pocket in M&S in the High Street, Watford, between 6.15pm and 6.20pm on January 31, 2017.
Calescu was additionally charged with:
- Stealing a purse between 2.30pm and 3.30pm from a woman in Sumpter Yard, St Albans.
- Handling stolen goods in relation to receiving a stolen bank card on February 16, 2017.
There was another man found at the address, who had been wanted since 2014. Marin Tudor, aged 38, Chester Close, Luton, was wanted for failing to appear at Highbury Magistrates Court for theft.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Jordon Fox said: “Catching purse –dippers is very difficult as victims often don’t realise their purses have been stolen until much later, so we have limited descriptions and times. However, on this occasion, we were able to obtain excellent CCTV. “We also had a partial registration number plate and with excellent detective police work, PCs Shaun Woods and Iffie Iqbal were able to trace and arrest Calescu and Barabas.”
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