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

PUBLISHED: 11:08 04 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 04 April 2017

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.


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.

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.

“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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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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