Six-month jail term for phone thieves

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The phone thieves (pictured) targeted 34 stores, including EE, O2 and Vodafone stores, between February 2013 and January 2015

Two men have been jailed for six months each for conspiracy to steal £45,000 worth of mobile phones from stores across London over a two-year period.

Silver Baboi, 23, and Vasile Mihai, 21, appeared at Croydon Crown Court on July 27 after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing. A third man also pleaded guilty and is due to be sentenced on September 1.

The sentence follows an investigation by the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) into an organised criminal network, which targeted 34 shops between February 2013 and January 2015.

CCTV footage showed the defendants working as a team to distract staff and block their view, while 57 display handsets were stolen by either sheer force or by cutting security cabling.

Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Vodafone, Three, Fonehouse and Virgin Media stores were all targeted, with smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony. HTC, LG and BlackBerry stolen.

NMPCU detective sergeant John Maude said: “This is an excellent result which has seen two members of an organised criminal network jailed for their part in a conspiracy to steal from mobile phone stores.

“The NMPCU is committed to ensuring those engaged in criminal activity do not escape justice and will continue to work with industry partners and other police forces to target and prosecute offenders.”

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