Man jailed after £17k phones theft from Lincoln store

A gang stole over £17,000 worth of mobile phones after targeting a city shop, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Monday.

The four-man gang walked into the Carphone Warehouse store on the Valentine Retail Park on Tritton Road in Lincoln, and brazenly stripped phones from the displays.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that staff watched on helplessly as three of the gang grabbed the phones and handed them to an accomplice who was stationed at the shop doorway with a supermarket carrier bag.

In just 90 seconds they got away with 27 mobiles which were together worth almost £17,000.

Mr Howes said: “This was a planned shop theft. High value goods were selected when the gang targeted the shop five minutes before closing time.

“One male stood at the doorway with a large supermarket bag while the other three males approached the walls and started to pull phones from the displays.

“They were shouting at each other in a foreign language and placed the items in the bag. In a minute and a half they had obtained 27 mobile phones.”

The gang made off with their haul but one of the men left blood at the scene from a cut. He was identified from DNA as Leonard Dobre but managed to evade police for over a year before he was arrested last month when he arrived at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool, on a flight from Bucharest.

The court was told that although Dobre had no previous convictions in the UK he had previously received a sentence of three years and 10 months in Germany for offences of robbery and attempted robbery for which he was subsequently deported.

Dobre, 25, of Wavertree, Liverpool, admitted a charge of theft from a shop as a result of the incident on July 10, 2018. He was jailed for 16 months.

Christopher Hogg, in mitigation, said that Dobre came to the UK to work so that he could provide for his partner and three children.

“He says that was the reason he came to Lincoln with these other people.”