AN EAGLE-eyed police officer made a last minute arrest of a wanted shoplifting gang member as he arrived at court to give his accomplices some moral support.
Sorin Paraschiv, 29, of no fixed address, was one of five thieves from Romania who stole over £3,000 worth of goods from Birmingham Airport duty free. He pleaded guilty to the charge.
Madalin Slobozeanu, 29, of Coventry Road, Solihull, Bogdan-Alexandru Tache, 34, of no fixed address, Ion Craciun, 30, and Marius-Ionut Niculae, 25, both of Malmesbury Road, Birmingham, were all arrested at the airport on September 18, after being caught on CCTV placing items in their luggage bags.
But Paraschiv was only caught after the officer, reviewing the CCTV ahead of the trial, recognised him from the footage as he entered Solihull Magistrates and it wasn’t long before he was following his friends into the dock.
Malcolm Stoddard, prosecuting, said the group, ‘with a measure of planning and forethought’ entered World Duty Free at Birmingham Airport and stole perfume, aftershave, cigarettes, and sunglasses, worth £3893.63.
Mr Chauhan, defending Slobozeanu and Paraschiv said they ‘were not the brains behind the operation.’
“They were in fact, at the airport for a legitimate reason, they wanted to catch a flight.
“Mr Paraschiv wanted to express his deep regret and remorse. He accepts that it was a stupid decision. He could not believe he got caught up in this when he just came to visit his friend.
“They both want to put this behind them.”
All five members of the shoplifting gang were sentenced to four weeks in prison by the bench.