A Romanian woman involved in a series of distraction thefts against elderly people across Hertfordshire, including one in Berkhamsted, is likely to face deportation at the end of her sentence.
Viorica Haret, 45, was part of an East European gang who would target the victims in supermarket car parks.
One would tell the victim they had a nail in their tyre or that they had dropped £10 while the other rifled through bags and stole bank cards, which they then used.
Prosecutor Nathalie Carter said Haret was involved in £8,206-worth of thefts. The supermarkets where it happened included: Waitrose in Stevenage and Berkhamsted, Morrison’s in Welwyn Garden CIty, and Tesco in Baldock and Hertford.
The thefts were carried out in 2014, but Haret was not arrested until the end of last year in Italy when she was on her way to Spain to work.
The mother-of-three, who had been living in Dortmund, Germany, appeared for sentence from Peterborough jail today (Wednesday, May 20) having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to made false representation.
Defending, Dharmendra Toor said Haret wishes to be deported back to Romania. He said he believed a Home Office removal policy was in place against her and that she had spent 132 days on remand and 23 days on a tagged curfew.
Judge Nigel Lithman QC jailed her for 10 months and said: “These were very mean offences. You did not stay in the country to accept your punishment so the length of time it has taken to come to court is not to your credit.
“The Home Officers should be notified of the sentence so they can instigate her deportation back to Romania.”