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12 September 2012, 11:22
A man was caught with 20 stolen phones in his pants when one of them started ringing.
Police were called to the Longwater estate in Costessey after a 16-year-old girl reported her phone stolen from the Sundown Festival at the Norfolk Showground.
The girl was able to find her phone using a tracking application. The signal led them to the nearby McDonalds where she contacted police.
Police dialled the number of the stolen phone which began to ring. A man was searched and found with 20 mobile phones which had been hidden in a pair of tights, which he was wearing under his trousers.
The man was arrested and taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and later charged with 20 counts of theft.
Ionut Guita, 23 from Stratford in London, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court last Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to all theft charges and also admitted committing offences while subject to a suspended sentence order.
Guita has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court at a later date.
Detective Sergeant Vicky Flatt, from Norfolk Constabulary’s Community Safety team, said: “We know these types of events get targeted by thieves, which this case demonstrates. Festivals are ideal hunting grounds for thieves because people in large crowds are less likely to notice a pick-pocket or someone tampering with their bag.
“We carried out a lot of work prior to and during the event targeting festival goers with safety and security advice which we hope will have gone some way to preventing further offences.”
Safety leaflets were handed out to festival-goers while flashing LED signs were used at the Showground to drive home safety messages.
Thousands of revellers attended the two-day festival and over the course of the weekend Norfolk Police sent messages on twitter encouraging people to have a safe and enjoyable time.
Officers carried out plain-clothed patrols inside the showground and a number of people were searched and arrested in connection with drug offences while one man was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
A number of residents contacted police concerning noise complaints and levels were monitored throughout the weekend and the information will be passed to environmental health.
South Norfolk Policing Commander, Chief Inspector Tracey Little, said: “While a handful of arrests were made the event passed peacefully with the majority of festival-goers enjoying the party atmosphere.
“A host of items including handbags, purses, and phones were found abandoned as people left the showground and enquiries are continuing to reunite them with their rightful owners.”