Three childhood friends from Romania who were caught stealing from TX Maxx stores and told a court they were showing their pal around the UK have been jailed.
Ion Calin, Alexandru Draghici and George Sarbu got away with an unknown amount of clothing from the Derby branch, on July 18, but were captured on CCTV, said prosecutor Daniel Pietyrka.
A security guard sent the footage to the Mansfield store, on St Peter’s Retail Park, the next day where the men were detained after transferring £862 of clothes to a foil-lined rucksack.
Michael Little, mitigating, said Calin had worked in the UK for the past five years, and sent cash back to his family, who recently returned to Romania, where he has two daughters with health conditions.
The court heard Calin had previous convictions for theft from 2014, and drink driving in 2016.
He said Draghici had been working in warehouses for the past two years in the UK and was living with friends.
He said Sarbu has been in the UK for five weeks and had been working in a warehouse. He needed money before he received his first pay packet, added Mr Little.
All three are childhood friends and have joined up back again in this country, he said.
Probation officer Sarah Alderton said Calin and Draghici claimed they were showing newly-arrived Sarbu around the country.
“It wasn’t until they were inside the store that they chose to steal,” she said.
She said they claimed the foil-lined bag from a man in the street because they “thought it was nice.”
Calin, 35, of Glebe Street, Leigh, Draghici, 28, of Oak Street, and Sarbu, 31, of Anglesey Road, both Burton-on-Trent, admitted two counts of theft at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.
They were locked up for 16 weeks and were each ordered to pay a £115 government surcharge.
Calin asked, via an interpreter, why the sentence was so lengthy.
Chair Anthony Burton said: “The court is dealing with two significant shop thefts on two consecutive days.
“We consider this was a group activity which cvertainly involved a degree of planning and anticipation.”