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14 February 2019, 16:23 | Updated: 14 February 2019, 16:33
Three people - who committed multiple distraction thefts in West Bridgford and Nottingham over a six-month period - have been sentenced to a combined total of more than three years in prison.
28-year-old Marius Ion, Anna-Marie Moiceanu and Alina-Aretina Iancu - who are both 26 - all of Lamcote Grove in the Meadows appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday (11 February 2019).
Moiceanu pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from person, four counts of fraud by false representation and one count of consipracy to commit theft and fraud.
Both Ion and Iancu each pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from person, one count of conspiracy to commit theft and fraud and one count of fraud by false representation.
Between April and September 2018, the group purposely targeted vulnerable victims aged between 86 and 93 years-old, and stole their purses, wallets and bags, one containing irreplaceable personal photographs of the victim’s family.
The two women, Moiceanu and Iancu, distracted people whilst Ion stole the victim's items and pension money from their bags. They then used the stolen bank cards using 'contactless' transactions to purchase goods and send money back to Romania via an online transfer.
Moiceanu was given a longer sentence, as she conducted more thefts than the others and was given 60 weeks imprisonment, whilst Marius Ion and his wife Alina Iancu were given 54 and 46 week sentences respectively.
Police Constable Fay Benson said "I'd like to thank all the victims who suffered last year and also the officers who worked on the case, it was a real team effort. I hope the victims will get the closure they deserve from knowing that the three are now behind bars."