Jailed: Distraction thieves who stole £3,000 worth of valuables in three hours
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:30 23 July 2019
City of London Police
Two men who stole £3,000 worth of phones, bank cards and wallets in just three hours have been jailed.
Inner London Crown Court heard how Valter Stanescu, of Mallards Road, Barking, and Nicosur German, of no fixed abode, would approach their victims in pubs, offices and fast food restaurants.
The pair, both 37, would hold leaflets as they approached their victims in public places, using them to cover personal belongings and distract them from the theft taking place.
During a three hour period on May 23, Stanescu and German stole mobile phones, bank cards and a wallet from different people, with a total value of just over £3,000.
During his custody interview, Stanescu admitted that he had stolen four phones on that date and that he intended to sell them to a person in Ilford, however he denied the theft of a wallet.
He went on to say that he stole as many phones as he could and when he saw something he wanted to steal, he just took it.
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Following the arrest of the pair, officers searched their car and found five additional phones hidden inside the fabric of the rear passenger seat.
Stanescu and German both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to steal mobile phones, wallets and bank cards.
They were each sentenced on Friday, July 19 to 13 months in prison.
Detective Sergeant Darren Norman, of the City of London Police, said: "Stanescu and German's jail sentence shows that we have zero tolerance towards theft in the City and we will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.
"Distraction thefts are decreasing but people still need to remain alert and vigilant and keep their valuables out of plain sight.
"If you do fall victim to this type of crime, or see any suspicious activity when out and about in the City, you should report it to police by calling 101."
He reminded people to keep an eye on their belongings on all times, not to leave them on top of tables and to be discreet when using mobile phones and other expensive items when in public.