TWO Romanian women who targeted a Clitheroe jewellers escaped with gold items worth £1,200.
Blackburn magistrates heard the women claimed they had come to the Ribble Valley looking for work. But District Judge Peter Ward said he believed the two women had travelled from Manchester with the express intention of stealing.
He described the theft as “a deliberately planned, sophisticated con-trick which was professional.”
Seina Sava (23) and Marisiul Jesus Gartia (17), of Enva Road, Manchester, pleaded guilty to theft from Nettletons on Castle Street. Sava was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and Gartia was remitted to the youth court in Manchester.
Miss Lisa Worsley (prosecuting) said the two women went into the shop at 3-30 p.m. and Sava took one assistant to part of the shop while Gartia asked another to show her some items. She expressed an interest in a purchase, but said she didn’t have enough money to buy it. Gartia left a £20 deposit and said she would go to the bank and get the rest of the money.
Both women were captured in the area on CCTV and seen to get into a car. That vehicle was stopped on the M6 two days later and they were arrested.
Miss Worsley said when they were arrested both women were wearing underskirts which had been altered to form an inside pocket.
Miss Clare Knight, for Gartia, said the women had come to Clitheroe looking for work and the theft had been opportunist. She said the pocket in the skirt was traditional back in Romania where the women tended not to carry handbags.
District Judge Ward said if the women had previous convictions he would have sent them to prison.
“I take the view this is deliberate, targeted and professional,” said Judge Ward. “It merits a custodial sentence, but I am reluctant to do that without a report.”