A group of shoplifters tried to steal thousands of pounds worth of Primark goods by stuffing them into suitcases inside a lift.
The group who targeted Birmingham’s flagship Primark store on March 30 were seen acting ‘suspiciously’ by security who waited for them at the entrance.
The group tried to split up and escape the store when they noticed they had been clocked but security was able to stop them.
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BirminghamLive reports that one member of the group, Bianca Tudor, was ultimately charged with ‘theft from a shop’, which she admitted via a Romanian interpreter at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 14. The 21-year-old from Markby Road , Winson Green had ‘no need to steal’ and simply made a ‘stupid decision’, her lawyer conceded.
She was said to be ‘frightened’ at the hearing but was spared jail and fined £350 on top of having to pay £185 costs and a £35 victim surcharge. The group targeted Primark around 4.40pm on Wednesday, March 30 this year.
Prosecutor Shivali Patel said: “Security officers watched four females on CCTV enter the store and act suspiciously. Two of them picked up two suitcases. They also filled shopping bags with clothing items.
“All four females entered a lift with clothing items and security officers observed them putting the clothes into the suitcases. Two of the females left the lift on one floor of the store while the other two left on another floor.
“They left empty shopping bags in the lift. At this point the security officer left the office and made his way to the High Street entrance of the store as he anticipated them leaving without payment.”
The prosecutor stated that when the group saw the security they separated with three of them heading for the Moor Street side of the shop where they were detained and escorted back inside, suitcases in hand. The fourth was stopped at the High Street side. The stolen goods were valued at £1,018.
Ms Patel told the court in her interview Tudor claimed to police she saw one of her female associates put the clothes in the suitcases first which ‘gave her the idea to do the same’. Alex Atkins, defending her, argued her client had not gone to Primark intending to steal her before her associate ‘suggested to her it would be easy to get away with it’.
He said: “She has been honest to the court and is not saying she was poor and needed to steal. She accepts she had no need to steal.
“There is certainly no suggestion she was coerced. She made her own decisions and made a very stupid decision.”
Mr Atkins told the Tudor magistrates earned £350 a week working at Tesco and had ‘very little left’ after paying for rent and bills. He added: “She has been saying to me during the course of the morning she she is concerned about going to prison and she certainly wo n’t get in any more trouble again.
“She has found coming to court a frightening experience and seems quite genuine to me she is frightened to come back. In the circumstances I don’t think you are likely to see her again.”