Fraudster Jailed For Stealing £24,000 Of Jewellery Using Magic Tricks
A fraudster has been caught on camera using magic tricks to steal jewellery worth £24,000 ($32,000).
Combining David Blaine-style slight of hand with the criminal tenacity of Ronnie Biggs, 26-year-old Mircea Rostas went on a theft spree within months of arriving in the UK in October last year. Watch him operating here:
Romanian national Rostas has previously been convicted of crimes abroad.
Alongside an accomplice, he targeted eight small jewellery shops around the country between January and April this year. The accomplice is still at large, presumably having been put into a disappearing box and never come back.
The pair of them got away with almost £24,000($32,000) in rings, bracelets and necklaces in less than four months.
Their scheme began by showing staff how they wanted them wrapped. The pair would handle the items and then say they only had euros and leave a £10 deposit.
They would leave saying they were going to get the money changed but not return. When staff then checked the boxes they would discover the valuables were gone.
Rostas was jailed for 26 months at Shrewsbury Crown Court, however none of the stolen jewellery has been recovered.
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The court heard how the man previously had a fraud conviction in the Czech Republic in 2015 which he got a suspended sentence for and was also fined for shoplifting in Germany in June 2016.
Defending, Lisa Hancox said Rostas had shown remorse but was under pressure to repay loans he had taken out.
Judge Jonathan Gosling told Rostas: "It was planned and sophisticated and you were aware other jewellers would be tipped-off after each theft.
"You were therefore prepared to travel across the country to steal where people would not be suspicious."
Bristol victim Teresa Tremlett, who owns East Street Jewellery with her husband Gary, said: "It really is a professional job.
"We have had someone run out before, but never something like this."
Her staff didn't even notice the jewellery had gone until the conmen had not returned the following morning.
"We watched the footage for ages to try and work out what they had done. We have to take our hats off to them, because it is so hard to see," she added.
"It is very frustrating as we're a small business and for us it pays our mortgage"
Featured Image Credit: SWNS