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Tube pickpocket gang face deportation after jail terms

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:59 05 October 2010

Dimitru (left) with accomplices Roman and Stoica

Dimitru (left) with accomplices Roman and Stoica

A GANG of pickpockets who came to Britain to target London Underground passengers have landed behind bars. Now they also face deportation

By Mike Brooke

A GANG of pickpockets who came to Britain to target London Underground passengers have landed behind bars. Now they also face deportation.

The three were caught on CCTV thieving on the Central Line at Mile End and Liverpool Street stations.

The three Rumanians face being booted out of the country after they serve their time in jail.

Niculae Dimitru, 33, was jailed for eight months while his accomplices Mihai Roman, 28, and Filip Stoica, 20, received 12 months, all for conspiracy.

They admitted consp[iracy when they appeared at Southwark crown court. All three have been told they will be deported after serving their sentences.

The men were first arrested for attempted theft earlier this year and pleaded guilty.

But British Transport Police rearrested them as they left the dock-and nicked them for conspiracy.

"We had evidence they were involved in more offences," said Det Con Kathryn Faine after the hearing. "So we arrested them again and set about building a case against them.

"The CCTV showed them hanging around the booking hall at Liverpool Street, changing between platforms with no apparent purpose, allowing trains to go through without getting on and standing very close to other passengers on escalators. This is behaviour associated with pick-pocketing."

The detective added: "These men came to the UK with the sole intention of stealing."

The conspiracy charges related to thefts and attempted thefts on trains and at Mile End and Liverpool Street.

A woman was followed by the three onto the escalators during one incident on February 7. She got on a train to Oxford Circus and realised her purse was missing from her bag.

The men are then seen on CCTV stealing from a man 10 minutes later, again targeting him on the escalator.

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