Pair stole 12 mobile phones from revellers on sweep of Norwich night spots
PUBLISHED: 11:49 06 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 06 October 2018
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Two men who travelled from London to Norwich to pickpocket people on a night out were caught red-handed by door staff.
Some 12 phones worth about £6,000 were recovered and returned to their owners after Abdelhadi Bouziri 29, and Samir Ghezali, 36, went to top nightspots and bars in the city where they skilfully pickpocketed smart phones from handbags and pockets.
Victims did not even realise what had happened until they found their phone missing, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.
Philip Farr, prosecuting, said the pair visited Mercy, Bar 11, Mojo’s, Revolucion de Cuba and Vodka Revolution stealing phones.
It was only as they left the club Fluke that door staff became suspicious and police were called.
When searched, they found four phones. Further phones were found in the pair’s car.
Mr Farr said the 12 phones, worth about £500 each, were all returned to their owners.
One of the victims described how she had been on the dance floor in Revolucion de Cuba and it was only when she went to her bag to get her phone she realised it was missing.
Mr Farr said: “They had visited the most popular nightspots in Norwich before they were finally apprehended at Fluke at about 3am.”
Bouziri and Ghezali both admitted theft of the phones in February last year.
Judge Andrew Shaw told them it was an “organised and planned” operation.
He said they had taken advantage of people out enjoying themselves: “You pickpocketed members of the public enjoying their leisure time in these bars by stealing their phones.”
He said that the loss of a phone caused a great deal of inconvenience: “People rely on their phones for so much in their lives.”
He gave Bouziri an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years and 140 hours unpaid work and Ghezali 14 months suspended for 18 months and 100 hours unpaid work.
Ian James for Bouziri said he had learned his lesson and now had got a job and had not re-offended.
Matthew Edwards for Ghezali, said that he was the carer for his mother and had expressed his remorse.