Serial pickpocket who targeted woman in Newham jailed

Iulian Stelica has been jailed

Iulian Stelica has been jailed - Credit: Archant

A serial pickpocket who targeted a woman in Newham for a mobile phones has been jailed for 23 months.

Iulian Stelica, 38, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven theft offences committed between February 14 and March 20 at Southwark Crown Court on July 15.

This conviction follows a previous hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on July 3, when Stelica was jailed for 20 weeks for a further five theft offences, committed between March 9 and April 3.

Stelica stole phones from girls and women, aged between 13 and 35 years, while they travelled on buses in Newham, Redbridge, Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.

On one occasion, he stole an Apple iPhone from a 22-year-old woman in Prince Regent Lane, on March 20.

He was arrested in connection with seven thefts in April at Luton airport, where he was about to board a flight to Romania, following an investigation launched by the Roads and Transport Policing Command, in partnership with Transport for London.

While he was in custody, officers charged Stelica to a further five offences.

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etective Superintendent Adnan Qureshi, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “We are committed to detecting, disrupting and arresting those involved in crime.

“This unscrupulous person consciously carried out these theft offences, robbing his victims of their personal possessions and leaving them in a state of worry and misery.

“I would like to ask the public to help us thwart thieves by ensuring they take personal security precautions by keeping their possessions hidden and close to them and always be aware of their surroundings.”

Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “Our MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command colleagues have done an excellent job catching and prosecuting this prolific thief, leading to this successful sentencing.

“Crime on the bus network has fallen for the ninth year running, and all of our customers have the right to travel without fear of theft.

“We continue to work hard with our policing partners to rid the network of such criminals and keep bus crime at its lowest level.”

The sentences will be served consecutively.