Man who was part of “professional” shoplifting gang jailed

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Adrian Judd

Great Yarmouth shoplifter who was part of a 'professional gang' jailed

A member of a 'professional' shoplifting gang, who stole items worth hundreds of pounds from a Great Yarmouth supermarket, has been jailed and could face deportation.

Alexandru Letu, 21, was one of a gang of four, who stole high value alcohol from Sainsbury's worth more than £1,100, and then returned eight days later and tried to steal another trolley load of drinks worth £1,122, Norwich Crown Court heard.

John Farmer, prosecuting, said Letu was caught after a sharp-eyed security officer recognised Letu when he returned to the store with the gang.

Mr Farmer said it was a 'professional' operation and said: 'He was part of a four man team. This is as organised and sophisticated as it gets.'

The court heard Letu, failed to turn up for his court appearance in February, last year, and went on the run, but was arrested seven months later and was found to have been working on building sites in London.

The court heard Letu was also in breach of a 18-week suspended sentence for burglary and had also in the past received a caution for shoplifting more than £500 worth of goods from Lidl.

Most Read

Letu, of Ilford, Essex, who was helped by a Romanian interpreter in court, pleaded guilty to the shop thefts in January, last year.

Jailing him for 14 months and two weeks, Judge Stephen Holt said: 'This was a professional operation which you were part of.' He said it was not for the court to recommend his deportation, but up to other authorities whether he was deported or not.

John Morgans, for Letu, said he came to the country from Romania to work, but at the time of the offences had got into bad company: 'He was influenced by others.'

He said Letu spoke good English and while on the run had got work in London.

'He is genuinely ashamed of what he has done.'

Mr Morgans said: 'He's been down in London, working in the building trade.'

He said that Letu's plan on his release was to return to work and follow a life away from crime.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter