Two pickpockets have been jailed after stealing purses from tube passengers.

Ion Tanase, 34, of High Street, Barkingside, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on January 10, after pleading guilty to two counts of theft.

He was sentenced for 32 months and will spend half the time in jail and half on license. 

Ciprian Marasac, 29, of Imperial Road, Wood Green, also pleaded guilty and was jailed for 12 months on November 28.

The theft took place at around 11.50pm on October 10 at Tottenham Court Road tube station, after the pair watched a 30-year-old woman top up her Oyster card, before removing her purse from her bag while she was on the escalator.

They then withdrew £300 from her bank account.

On November 1, at around 11.40pm, they took a purse from the bag of a 25-year-old woman at a cash machine outside Tottenham Court Road station and later withdrew £800.

The pair were spotted by a police officer on November 26 on Charing Cross Road acting suspiciously, and were later arrested when the officer recognised them as the two people wanted in connection with the thefts.

Detective constable Mark Connor, said: “On each occasion Tanase and Marasac worked as a team by watching people enter their pin number at a ticket machine or ATM before stealing their purse.

“They used the ‘easy dip’ tactic by reaching into an open bag and removing the item. 

"Their sentence should send a clear message that theft on the London Underground network is completely unacceptable and is taken extremely seriously.”