Mobile phone thieves jailed
TWO thieves who travelled to Cambridge to steal mobile phones from a city nightspot have been jailed.
Marius Panainte, 32, and Mihai Danut Hariga, 38, were spotted by CCTV operators getting out of a car in the city centre and heading to Ballare nightclub at about 1am on Friday morning (November 23).
They alerted officers who lay in wait for the pair, who were with another man, as they returned at about 3.30am.
They were stopped and searched and found to be hiding three iPhones which were later reported as having been stolen from handbags in the night spot.
Panainte, of Hassocks Road, London, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, while Hariga, of Croydon Road, Croydon, admitted receiving stolen goods. Both men were jailed for six weeks at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on Saturday.
A third man was released with no further action.
Officers launched Operation Minnow in the summer after a spike in mobile phone thefts in Cambridge nightspots.
Inspector Ian Lyons said: "We will not tolerate these people who come to Cambridge in order to steal from people in nightclubs and bars.
"These offenders had no previous convictions and probably thought they would get away with a caution or fine, however this case shows we will charge those who commit such crime and put them before the courts.
"I would also urge people to ensure their phones are safe and secure when they are out in the city's bars and nightclubs. This case shows thieves target handbags and are on the lookout for easy targets."