Two women jailed for stealing purses in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford

Two women who were arrested for purse-dipping in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford have been jailed.

Two women who were arrested for purse-dipping in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford have been jailed. - Credit: Archant

Thieves who pickpocketed purses from shoppers in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford have been sentenced to prison.

Viorica Calescu, 44, and Simona-Carmen Barabas, 42, both of Chester Close in Luton, were arrested for purse-dipping in February and March this year.

They were jointly charged with stealing a purse from Boots in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, on March 17, stealing a purse from a coat in the back office of JoJo Maman Bebe in Church Green, Harpenden on March 7, stealing a purse from Poundland in Watford on February 28, and stealing a £400 mobile phone from a woman’s pocket in M&S in Watford.

Calescu was additionally charged with stealing a purse from a woman in Sumpter Yard, St Albans on February 16, and handling stolen goods in relation to receiving a stolen bank card.

Appearing at Hatfield Remand Court on Saturday, March 25 , Calescu was sentenced to 58 weeks imprisonment and Barabas was sentenced to 40 weeks. They were both also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.


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Marin Tudor, 38, who had been wanted since 2014 for failing to appear at Highbury Magistrates Court for theft, was also found at the Chester Close address.

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.

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“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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