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Couple admits three alcohol thefts from King’s Lynn supermarkets

todayJune 7, 2021 1

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Two Sainsbury’s stores in Lynn were targeted by a couple who stole more than £1,000 of alcohol.

The Peterborough pair worked together to remove security tags from expensive bottles of brandy before hiding them in their trolley.

Marian Petre, 23, and Nocoleta-mara Costica, 20, appeared before magistrates in Lynn on Thursday to plead guilty to three counts of theft, totalling £1,090.10.

King's Lynn Magistrates' Court (47416416)
King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court (47416416)

The first offence was at Sainsbury’s in the Vancouver Centre on March 25, 2021.

Petre removed tags from several bottles and placed them back on the shelf. Both defendants then took about £350 of cognac, putting it in shopping bags and covering it with other items.

Costica then went through a checkout, only paying for some smaller items.

The theft came to light when the removed tags were found in another aisle and CCTV was reviewed.

The other two offences – on April 20 and 28 – happened in the Scania Way store and the couple had their young child with them.

The thefts followed a similar format, although on the final occasion a security officer recognised the female who became spooked and left the trolley in the aisle.

Both defendants were detained as they left the store.

Prosecutor Michael Devaney said: “Mr Petre tried to run away but was stopped by a member of the public.”

Ruth Johnson, mitigating, said the Romanian couple had no previous convictions here or their native country and fallen on hard times when Petre lost his job at a large online retailer.

She added: “Mr Petre describes finding themselves in a state of sheer desperation and having to commit shop theft to fund living.

“They have expressed shame, they made poor choices and are incredibly remorseful.”

Costica and Petre, of Northfield Road, were jointly ordered to pay £736.50 compensation.

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