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News


downsmail.co.uk


Thief distracted staff before taking phone


A SERIAL thief has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after she stole jewellery and phones from victims across Kent.


Lucretia Stanescu (29) stole vari-


COVID claim in perfume


theft attempt A WOMAN who claimed to have COVID-19 is accused of 'cough- ing at staff' after attempting to steal perfume gift sets. It is reported that at around 4.35pm on December 21, 2020, a woman was stopped by a security guard at Boots in King Street, Maidstone. The suspect is alleged to have started swearing at the member of staff before making claims she had COVID-19, and coughing in the direction of his face. She then left the store empty handed. Officers have now released this picture image of a person they would like to identify, and who they believe may hold important information. If you can help the investiga-


tion, please call Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/224799/20. You can also contact Kent Crimestoppers anony- mously on 0800 555111 or use the online form.


ous items from shop workers in Maidstone, Gillingham, Canter- bury and Hoo. She also targeted victims in Essex and Warwickshire. Stanescu was also given a life-


time order which instructs her to pay back what she stole in full. The Chief Constable’s Crime


Squad launched an investigation into Stanescu after jewellery worth £100,000 was stolen from a shop in Tenterden High Street. She was captured on CCTV leav-


ing the scene in a red Peugeot, which was stopped by police in


Berkshire three days later. A Kent Police spokesman said: “Stanescu used the same modus operandi for much of her offend- ing – she would attend a shop and distract staff by asking a series of questions while discreetly stealing valuable items. “She was captured on CCTV on


most occasions, including one inci- dent in Pudding Lane, Maidstone, which saw her take a mobile phone from a shopworker’s desk while they gathered leaflets for her.” As a result of further enquiries, detectives were able to connect


Stanescu to 11 other theft offences committed across Kent. Senior investigating officer DS


Jay Robinson said: “Lucretia Stanescu would cover the phones with leaflets or her bag first and steal the phones as she picked up the item covering them. It was a well-practised technique. “Considering people store so


much information on their phones, which is important to their lives, Stanescu’s deception would have been impactive on so many people and we take a very dim view of her actions.”


Shoplifting alleged Van warning


TWO suspected shoplifters have been accused of threatening a se- curity guard with a knife at a Maidstone supermarket. Eric Engman (27) and Youssef Amrani (27) allegedly stole high value alcohol at Sainsbury’s in Romney Place at about 9.35pm on December 16. When challenged, a security


guard was reportedly assaulted, and threats were made by a man with a blade. Officers arrested the two men at Maidstone East train station, and they were taken into custody. Items believed to be stolen from


the supermarket, as well as other town centre shops, were recovered. These included bottles of spirits


A HOUSE in North Street, Barming was broken into. Branches were cut from a tree in Ton- bridge Road, Teston. A tailgate was stolen from a Mitsubishi


L200 in Heath Road, Boughton Monchelsea. Two Christmas trees were stolen from outside a shop at a service station in Heath Road, Boughton Monchelsea. A large wreath was also stolen from outside the shop a week later. Fence panels were sprayed with graffiti


in Ashford Road, Bearsted. Somebody cut the side of a trailer in Dickley Lane, Lenham. Trees were cut down in a nature reserve


in Chatham Road, Boxley, without con- sent.


32


worth hundreds of pounds and items of designer clothing. Officers also seized some wire cutters. Mr Engman, of Brixton, was later


charged with theft, handling stolen goods, assault, possession of a knife in a public place and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. Mr Amrani, of no fixed address,


was charged with theft, handling stolen goods and possessing an ar- ticle for use in the course of theft. Mr Engman was bailed to ap-


pear at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on February 22 and Mr Am- rani was remanded in custody to appear before Medway Magis- trates’ Court on Friday, December 18.


DELIVERY drivers are being warned about a spike in assaults and van thefts. Since the beginning of Novem-


ber 2020, there have been nine re- ports of assaults on delivery drivers or vans stolen across Kent. Businesses, partner agencies


and hauliers are also being of- fered safety advice to pass on to their drivers.


Superintendent Pete Steenhuis


from Kent Police said: “Criminals are willing to be violent to get their hands on vans and parcels and we would ask everyone to be vigilant. ”Drivers should take all the necessary steps to secure their ve- hicles and report anything suspi- cious to us straight away.”


Neighbourhood Watch Working to reduce crime. Call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 or local police An entrance gate was torn off its hinges


in Weld Close, Staplehurst. A shed was broken into in Station Road, Staplehurst. A Vauxhall Movano 3500 CDTI LWB


was damaged on the forecourt of a filling station in Maidstone Road, Sutton Va- lence.


Somebody stole a Royal Mail post box in Headcorn Road, Sutton Valence. A house was broken into in Tumblers Hill, Sutton Valence.


A Peugeot Kisbee 50 moped, registra-


tion GL19 ***, was stolen in Forest Hill, Tovil. A driver filled up a vehicle with fuel and


then left without paying in St Saviour’s Road, Park Wood. A Christmas tree was stolen in Gravelly Bottom Road, Broomfield. A witness saw the tree being loaded onto the back of a trailer. A wing mirror was stolen from a vehi- cle in Hollingworth Road, Park Wood.


Crime reports


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