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Couple stole £30,000 of goods from Tesco stores

A couple raided Tesco stores across the country in a £30,000 shoplifting spree.

Marian Oprescu targeted the retailer on multiple occasions between February and August this year – with his partner Alexandra Radu joining him on several occasions.

The pair were caught following an investigation led by Nottinghamshire Police, which was launched after a string of thefts at Tesco Extra in Jubilee Way South, Mansfield.

Enquiries found stores were targeted across multiple counties including Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire and County Durham.

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They mostly stole cosmetics, alcohol, washing detergent and health and beauty items by removing security tags before leaving the stores without paying.

In total, at least £30,000 worth of products were stolen between 23 February and 30 August.

The worst day of offending took place on 24 July, when Oprescu stole almost £10,000 of products from three Tesco stores – in Northallerton, North Yorkshire as well as two stores in Stockton-on-Tees near Middlesbrough.

He also stole £7,000 worth of printer ink at a Tesco store in Northumbria on 20 March.

Radu’s offending was less prolific having accompanied Oprescu on part of the six-month shoplifting spree.

Her most prolific day was 15 August when she and Oprescu stole approximately £3,000 worth of goods from two Tesco stores in Mansfield – in Jubilee Way South and Chesterfield Road South.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the couple’s offending was brought to an end when Nottinghamshire Police arrested them at their North Lincolnshire home on 6 September, with a huge haul of stolen items subsequently found during a search of the address.

Oprescu, aged 27, went on to plead guilty to 27 shop thefts worth approximately £25,000, while Radu, 24, pleaded guilty to seven shop thefts worth around £6,000.

The couple, of Buckingham Street North, Scunthorpe, were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (5 December).

Oprescu was jailed for two years and three months, while Radu’s sentencing was deferred for six months. A judge told Radu she will avoid a prison sentence if she commits no further offences before her next court appearance.

Sergeant Louise Ellis, of the Nottingham City Priority Crime Team, which led the investigation, said:

“This was an intelligence-led investigation that involved more than 200 hours of work from ourselves and Tesco, who played a key role in gathering the evidence needed to put Oprescu and Radu before the courts.

“Together they caused significant harm to stores across the country and we are pleased to see them face the consequences of their persistent offending.

“Retail crime has been high on the public agenda and Nottinghamshire Police are leading the way in tackling the problem by working in partnership with large retailers.

“By working together and streamlining processes, we are able to bring offenders to justice quicker and easier than ever before.

“We will continue working closely with partners in the retail sector to prevent business crime.”

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