Three prolific pickpockets who stole cash, bank cards and mobile phones from vulnerable and elderly people have been jailed for a total of more than 10 years.

One woman and two men carried out an eight month spree on buses in Redbridge, Newham, Dagenham and Barking, stealing from passengers.

Nuti Baeram, 39, Antonivici Duduianu, 43, and Liviu George Bocaca, 27, who are all homeless, used distraction methods to trick their victims, the oldest of whom was 93 years old.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Nuti Baeram was jailed for four years

While one of them would offer to help a person getting on or off a bus, their accomplice would block the aisle to prevent other passengers getting on and pickpocket the individual.

The group would also distract a victim by placing a scarf over their handbag as a cover for them to rummage inside.

Police believe the trio fled the country on numerous occasions to avoid being caught.

All three pleaded guilty at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, November 23, following an investigation by the Met’s roads and transport policing command (RTPC).

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Liviu George Bocaca was jailed for 28 months

Baeram and Duduianu were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for 19 offences committed between January and August this year at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, November 30.

Bocaca, who pleaded guilty to four of the same offences, was sentenced to 28 months’ in prison.

Detective Sergeant Shaun Holyhead, from the RTPC, said: “It is thought that the three defendants flew to and from the UK in order to carry out their crimes in the hope that they would be untraceable.

“However, with the extensive CCTV coverage on London buses, we were able to identify them, and with the vast amount of evidence, they had no choice but to plead guilty.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Antonivici Duduianu was jailed for four years

“The callousness they showed in targeting the elderly is truly shocking.

“In some of their crimes, they took what might appear to some, to be a small amount of cash, but to their victims it was significant and would have impacted on their lives.

“I hope their convictions will act as a deterrent to others who are intent on using the transport network to commit crime that they stand a very good chance of being caught and jailed.”