Prolific East Ham pickpocket banned from Tube network

Petrica Scintei, of Wellstead Road, East Ham, was handed a 12 month sentence and a three year ASBO.

Petrica Scintei, of Wellstead Road, East Ham, was handed a 12 month sentence and a three year ASBO. - Credit: Archant

A prolific pickpocket has been jailed for a year and banned from the Tube network after he was nabbed by a plainclothes police officer.

Petrica Scintei, of Wellstead Road, East Ham, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to three counts of theft.

He preyed on a student tourist in October last year by jumping on a train with them at Piccadilly Circus station before jumping back off quickly with her mobile phone.

Scintei also pulled the same trick on a woman the following month, this time stealing her purse containing $250 and some credit cards.

Two weeks after that incident, Scintei committed his third offence at London Bridge Tube station, quickly grabbing a phone from a passenger’s pocket as she put out a hand to steady herself on the train.

He was finally spotted sitting on a bench at Green Park Tube station by a plainclothes British Transport Police officer on patrol.

Scintei was jailed for 12 months and given a three-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) banning him from the London Underground.