A gang of four female Romanian shoplifters have walked free after stealing more than £4,000 of perfume under the orders of crime bosses.
The young Birmingham-based quartet targeted busy shopping centres across the country, discreetly swiping luxury products such as Chanel, before being foiled.
All eventually pleaded guilty charges of theft and were handed community orders after a judge concluded it was clear ‘there are others in control’.
But two of the four women, Geanina Stan, 22, and Daniella Stoian, 20, initially tried to claim their £4,283 haul in John Lewis on February 14 were Valentine’s Day gifts for friends.
Mothers-of-three Angelica Marin, 18, and Samirateanca Bucurestean, 24, also admitted their roles in the gang.
The young Birmingham-based quartet targeted busy shopping centres across the country discreetly swiping luxury products and stuffing them into bags. Pictured left to right: Samariteanca Bucurestean , Angelica Marin, Geanina Stan
All eventually pleaded guilty charges of theft and were handed community orders after a judge concluded it was clear ‘there are others in control’ (pictured at Birmingham Crown Court)
Alison Scott Jones, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said: ‘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 Stan and Stoian went to a Boots in Northampton ‘where their behaviour drew immediate attention because they both carrying large empty bags,’ the court heard.
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 two women were found to have two Chanel fragrances worth £200.
Just over a month later the defendants were captured on CCTV stealing multiple bottles of perfume from John Lewis in Bristol worth £4,283.
Geanina Stan, 22, 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
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 repeated the claim.
Sentencing, 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,’ her solicitor said.
Stan, 22, of Gladstone Road, 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, 20, of Mansel Street, Small Heath, had previously pleaded guilty to theft and was also handed a 12-month community order.
At a previous hearing earlier this month,Marin and Bucurestean also admitted their roles in the gang.
Marin, of Blakeland Street, Bordesley Green, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft from a shop, assault by beating, and failing to answer to bail.
Last year during a separate shoplift she became abusive and punched a security guard in the face.
She was handed an 18-month community order involving 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 40 hours of unpaid work.
Bucurestean, of Gladstone Road, Sparkbrook, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft from a shop.
She was given a 12-month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 30 hours of unpaid work.