Purse thief admits more than 30 crimes

Purse thief Constantin Dumitru targeted elderly shoppers in Belper and Ashbourne. Photo: Derbyshire Police.

Purse thief Constantin Dumitru targeted elderly shoppers in Belper and Ashbourne. Photo: Derbyshire Police.

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A purse thief who targeted elderly shoppers has been jailed after admitting more than 30 crimes.

Constantin Dumitru and two accomplices targeted women in Belper and Ashboune, using the victim’s bank cards to steal money from their accounts.

On November 3, the gang followed an 82-year-old woman in Waitrose in Ashbourne, watching her enter her PIN at the checkout.

They followed her out of the store and reached into her bag, taking her bank card and later withdrawing cash.

That same day, the group surrounded an 81-year-old woman at the dry cleaning counter in the Belper branch of Morrisons and while she was speaking to staff, they dipped into her pocket and stole her bank cards.

She later discovered thousands of pounds had been withdrawn from her account.

The 28-year-old was arrested by Cheshire Police in December.

At Derby Crown Court on Tuesday, March 22, Dumitru was jailed for 21 months after he admitted four counts of theft and four counts of dishonestly making a false representation to make gain in Derbyshire in November and December.

He also admitted a further count of theft and three of making a false representation in Cheshire and Staffordshire in October.

Dumitru, of Sherwood Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, asked the judge to take another 19 similar crimes into consideration when passing sentence.