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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Jewellery shop gang captured in Cumbria

A gang of jewellery thieves responsible for a £44,000 nationwide crime spree struck at a shop in Carlisle before being arrested at Penrith.

The gang – one of them wearing an apron, fitted with pockets to hold whatever they stole – went into Jopsons jewellers in Fisher Street and distracted staff with a series of demands about the jewellery.

They claimed they would buy some jewellery once they had been to a bank to exchange their euros, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

They left the shop and never returned.

Staff later realised they had taken a gold chain, a dress watch and a tray of gold rings worth nearly £8,000.

But, the court heard, they came unstuck a few hours later when they tried to same trick at a jeweller’s shop in Penrith.

Staff of Finesse, in Middlegate, became suspicious as soon as they walked in and called the police.

It was then discovered they had previously targeted jewellers shops in Kendal and Grange-over-Sands after travelling up to Cumbria from their homes in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Prosecuting counsel Sarah Gruffydd told the court the three defendants – all Romanian – were part of an organisation who travelled the country targeting jewellers which they thought were vulnerable because they were small and independent.

Between them they were known to have stolen from shops as far afield as Somerset, Hereford, Dorset, Devon, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Hampshire.

They had also stolen cash from small shops in the south of England.

Yesterday mother-of-three Saina Sava, 40, of Millfield Road, Luton, was jailed for 16 months. The court heard she was the most heavily involved, was the one who wore the specially made pocketed apron and had the worst record of previous convictions for similar crimes.

Violeta Sava, 30, of Naseby Road, Luton, who also has three children, was sent to prison for a year.

And her husband Colea Sava, 35, who was not involved in all of the thefts, was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, and told to do 300 hours unpaid community work.

All three pleaded guilty to conspiring together to commit the thefts in Cumbria and asked for other offences committed elsewhere in the country to be taken into consideration.

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