Three admit supermarket alcohol theft
9:10am Tuesday 28th August 2012 in Campaign news
THREE men were involved in "industrial scale" theft of booze - stealing more than £1,000 of alcohol from Valleys supermarkets.
Gabriel-Andrei Bratu, 20, and Bogdan Groasa, 20, stole £1,146.70 of alcohol on the same day from two supermarkets. Newport Crown Court heard that on April 25, CCTV footage from Asda in Blackwood showed Bratu in the alcohol aisle at around 4.30pm, loading his shopping trolley with spirits and other alcoholic drinks with Groasa close by.
Bratu pushed the trolley out of the store without paying, taking with him £448.78 worth of drink. Less than an hour later, Bratu made his way to Tesco in Ystrad Mynach where he followed the same routine, this time he was seen with a second, unidentified, man.
After loading his trolley again, he escaped with alcohol valued at £697.92. On May 2, the pair returned to Asda in Blackwood, this time with Ion Iliescu, 38, and again made a beeline for the alcohol section where they proceeded to load their trolley.
Two of them were recognised by a security guard from the previous week who stopped them and called the police. Bratu, Iliescu and Groasa, all of St Dunstan's Road, Hounslow, and originally from Romania, pleaded guilty to theft, relating to May 2.
Bratu and Groasa pleaded guilty to the theft from Asda on April 25 and Bratu pleaded guilty to the theft from Tesco on the same day.
Andrew Taylor, for all three men, said the crimes were not "criminally sophisticated" and admitted their crimes. He said the men have spent the equivalent of an eight-month sentence on remand since their arrest awaiting sentencing.
Judge David Wynn Morgan jailed each of the men for 24 weeks for each charge, to be served concurrently.
He said the time served on remand would mean their almost immediate discharge from custody, but added: "If there's another occasion you are caught shoplifting on this industrial scale, you will go to prison for a very great deal longer."