Iulian Selica given 18 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven thefts in six week period
A serial pickpocket who stole 12 mobile phones from London bus passengers in under two months has been jailed for almost two years.
Iulian Stelica (38) was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on July 15 to 18 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven theft offences between February 14 and March 20.
This conviction followed a previous hearing at Barkingside Magistrates Court on July 3 when Stelica was jailed for 20 weeks for a further five offences that were committed between March 9 and April 3. The sentences will be served consecutively.
In all but one offence, Stelica targeted females aged between 13 and 35 years old who travelled on buses in Redbridge, Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Newham. The other victim was a 79-year-old male. The stolen items consisted of eight iPhones, three Samsung and one Nokia handset.
Officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, in partnership with Transport for London, launched an investigation and obtained CCTV from buses, which led to Stelica being identified.
He was arrested in connection with seven of the thefts on April 8 at Luton Airport, where he was about to catch a flight to his native country Romania. He was charged the following day and pleaded not guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court and remanded in custody to appear at Crown Court on July 15.
Officers linked Stelica to another five offences, with which he was charged on June 23 and pleaded guilty.
Transport Policing Command detective superintendent Adnan Qureshi said: “This unscrupulous person consciously carried out these offences, robbing his victims of their personal possessions and leaving them in a state of worry and misery.
“I would like to ask the public to help us thwart thieves by ensuring they take personal security precautions by keeping their possessions hidden and always be aware of their surroundings.”