'Professional gang of thieves' jailed for preying on tourists (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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The four criminals from Walthamstow targeted tourists at London's 'Wolf of Wall Street' film premier
A group of pickpockets from Walthamstow have been jailed for 'preying on innocent' tourists at a busy film premiere.
Florian Cernat, 48, of Carlton Road, and Higham Hill Road residents Llie Suchiu, 35, Remus Dumitru, 35, and Elena Zamfir, 24, targeted tourists at the Leicester Square film premier 'Wolf of Wall Street' on January 9.
Cernat, Suchiu, and Dumitru were all sentenced to 12 month in prison and Zamfir, jailed for nine months, after admitting to conspiracy to steal at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday.
Plain clothed officers specialising in pickpockets, spotted the group using the 'concealed hand' tactic to try and steal from tourists, and arrested them as they tried to leave Piccadilly Circus in Suchiu's car.
In an attempt to free three of his accomplices, Cernat told police during an interview how we acted alone during the mobile phone theft spree in which four stolen phones were recovered in Suchiu's car.
Investigating officer, PC Tom Wood said: "Thanks to the quick actions of our specialist pickpocket squad officers, these four people are now in prison.
"They were a well rehearsed, professional gang of thieves, who preyed on innocent tourists using the ‘concealed hand’ tactic.
"Despite their attempts to pass the buck onto Cernat, our investigation proved this was clearly an organised crime, which involved them all. No doubt many thefts have been prevented with this team behind bars."
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