Two women to be deported for purse-dipping in St Albans and Harpenden

Viorica Calescu and Simona-Carmen Barabas.

Viorica Calescu and Simona-Carmen Barabas. - Credit: Archant

Two thieves who were jailed for stealing purses in St Albans, Harpenden and Watford are to be deported.

Viorica Calescu.

Viorica Calescu. - Credit: Archant

Viorica Calescu, 44, and Simona-Carmen Barabas, 42, both of Chester Close in Luton, were arrested after thefts carried out in February and March this year.

Calescu was sentenced to 58 weeks in prison, and Barabas was sentenced to 40 weeks. They were both ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

The women were jointly charged with stealing a purse from underneath a pushchair in Boots in St Peter’s Street, St Albans on Friday, March 17, stealing a purse from a coat in the back office of JoJo Maman Bebe in Church Green, Harpenden on Tuesday, March 7, stealing a purse from Poundland in Watford on Tuesday, February 28 and stealing a £400 mobile phone from a woman’s pocket in M&S in Watford on Tuesday, January 31.

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

Simona-Carmen Barabas.

Simona-Carmen Barabas. - Credit: Archant

Both women are being deported back to their native Romania, with Barabas due to leave the UK in June and Calescu in July.

The decision to deport them was made by the Home Office after officers from Herts police carried out checks with international partners that revealed that the women had a history of prolific offending overseas.

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PC Shaun Woods, from the St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Due to their overseas offending and their convictions here in the UK these women have lost their right to live here.

“As with domestic criminals, when foreign nationals are arrested and convicted we carry out comprehensive checks to expose any previous offending that has occurred, including overseas. If these convictions reach a certain threshold we make a referral to the Home Office for deportation as the offender’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the greater good of the public, and often, public safety.

“This case shows how criminality can have far reaching consequences, as not only were these women arrested and put behind bars they now have to leave the country and return to their native Romania.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary always carries out checks on foreign nationals who have been arrested and convicted of crimes in this country and, where appropriate, we will apply to have criminals removed from the UK.”