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PROFESSIONAL PICKPOCKET: Woman who prayed on new mums faces deportation

PROFESSIONAL PICKPOCKET: Woman who prayed on new mums faces deportation

Image of a wallet in a pocket

A “professional pickpocket” who preyed on new mums – swiping purses while they cared for young babies – has been convicted of multiple thefts after being caught by our Birmingham city centre team.

We’ve issued an image of Pansella Radu and urged shoppers to be on their guard.

The 20-year-old has racked up 11 convictions and a caution in just a year, including several pickpocketing offences and associated frauds where she’s used stolen bank cards.

We caught her on 5 September last year shortly after she pinched a purse from a handbag while prowling the children’s section of Marks & Spencer.

Radu was bailed but while awaiting a court appearance struck again on 4 December in Primark when she grabbed a purse from the back of a pushchair.

The victim wrestled back the purse and she was detained by security staff.

We charged her with theft and the following day she was bailed by Birmingham magistrates – but brazen Radu walked straight from the courtroom into JD Sports to steal another purse using the same tactics.

Our city centre officers spotted her on 14 December and arrested her again.  

This time she was remanded into prison over Christmas and last week (26 Jan) given a 12-month community order and a 20-day rehabilitation activity by a judge at the city’s crown court.

PC Mat Evans from the city centre team, said: “Radu was heavily pregnant during the offences and used this to help her blend in while looking for victims in the children’s section of shops.

“She callously targeted mums who were distracted with babies – and struck during the few months visitors were able to come into Birmingham last year between the CoVID-19 lockdowns. 

“Radu is a professional pickpocket who despite only having been in the UK for 12 months has racked up a large number of convictions. She has shown no remorse for her victims and not paid any compensation.

“I will be pursuing her deportation through Immigration following these latest convictions.”

Words: West Midlands Police

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