Jailed: Thief worked in a gang to steal £11,200 from vulnerable victims as they boarded buses

Daniel Calinescu

Daniel Calinescu - Credit: met

A man from Romania worked in a gang of up to six to steal thousands of pounds of cash from vulnerable, elderly victims after they withdrew it at their banks.

Daniel Calinescu, 42, of no fixed abode, stole £1,700 from a 73-year-old woman in Barrett's Grove, Dalston, on July 29, £2,500 from a 78-year-old woman in St John's Hill, Battersea on July 9, £2,500 from a 62-year-old woman in Shrewsbury Avenue, Harrow on July 19, and £4,500 from a 72-year-old woman in High Street, Ealing on August 20.

In each case Calinescu watched them withdraw large sums of money over the counter at banks, and stole the cash from each victim as they boarded a bus.

On two occasions he used a razor blade or knife to slash the victim's bag.

He pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court yesterday and has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

Police are now trying to trace the other members of the group.

Judge Joanna Korner told Calinescu: "You have pleaded guilty to four counts of theft - the most unpleasant and nasty offences which can be committed within this category of crime.

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"No doubt you were deliberately targeting victims because of their obvious vulnerability. No other punishment is suitable other than immediate imprisonment; it must be of some length to mark public disapproval of people such as yourself and your activities."