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Gang of mums who used altered skirts to steal £4,500 worth of perfume jailed


A gang of mothers stole £4,500 worth of perfume by hiding bottles in a secret compartment in their skirts.

Olga Mihai, 45, Reica Petre, 40, Carmen Stoica, 41, and Cintariata Veriga, 35, wore skirts with a special lining in the pockets that allowed them to discretely hide items.

Using this method they managed to fool workers at Boots in Eastleigh, Hampshire, on December 16.

In order to make sure they weren’t spotted one of them distracted a staff member.

Prosecutor Siobhan Linsley said: ‘They asked for a shop assistant and they asked them to open the glass cabinet which contained the perfume.

‘While the staff member was distracted the ladies placed the perfume in both bags and in their skirts which had been specially adapted with a lining.’

Cintariata Veriga after her arrest (Picture: Hampshire Police)
The lining of the skirt used by one of the mothers to steal perfume (Picture: Solent)

In mitigation, Charlotte Bellamy said Stoic, Petre and Veriga had seven children each and Mihai had four children and two grandchildren.

They had told police when they were stopped in a car the stolen perfumes were Christmas gifts for family.

Judge Nicholas Rowland rejected a claim the women had primarily been in Eastleigh to visit a friend and not to steal.

He also rejected Miss Bellamy’s request to hand down suspended sentences for the four women, who each admitted theft.

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Olga Mihai was part of the gang (Picture: Hampshire Police)
Reica Petre was locked up (Picture: Hampshire Police)

Judge Rowland said Southampton Crown Court: ‘These four women came together from London or that area with the intention of stealing in Eastleigh.

‘They came equipped for the theft with garments. That puts this offence firmly in the highest category.’

The women had also walked up to the checkout with £1,600 of perfume but at the last minute said they had no money and left.

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Carmen Stoica (Picture: Hampshire Police)
Boots store in the Swan Centre in Eastleigh (Picture: Visit Eastleigh)

Petre and Veriga were given 18 month prison sentences, while Mihai was jailed for 15 months, and Stoicka was jailed for 12 months.

The women, all from Waltham Forest, London, had previous convictions, mostly theft-related, with Veriga having 19 convictions.

They have been in prison since their arrest last year.

Boots confirmed none of the stolen perfume could be resold.





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