Professional Romanian pickpocket who flew to Birmingham to steal from German market revellers is jailed
Written by Tristan Harris on January 22, 2019
A PROFESSIONAL pickpocket who flew into Birmingham to deliberately target revellers at the Frankfurt Christmas Market has been jailed.
Romanian Trica Niculescu was caught unzipping an 11-year-old girl’s rucksack in New Street and had only been in the UK for six days.
A stallholder had witnessed the 58-year-old slip his hand into a woman’s pocket after she’d withdrawn money from a cash point and alerted police who arrested him.
In interview he had brazenly told police: ‘A worker has to work and a thief has to steal’.
He admitted dipping into the girl’s bag but said he did not take anything as ‘there was nothing worth stealing in there’.
Niculescu, of no fixed address but originally from Craiova in southern Romania, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted theft and was jailed for eight months at Birmingham Crown Court.
PC Mat Evans, from Birmingham Police’s City Centre Prevent Team, said: “In sentencing, the judge described Niculescu as a ‘professional, international pickpocket who came to the UK to target the German market and ply his trade’.
“In interview he almost came across as being proud of being a pickpocket and didn’t seem to express any remorse for targeting innocent people and even children.
He thanked the vigilant stallholder who spotted Niculescu at ‘work’ in the crowd and raised the alarm.
“Had he not done so Niculescu may well have gone on to spoil many people’s night at the market.”
On completing his sentence, Niculescu will be deported from the UK.
Birmingham Police’s Prevent Team patrols the city centre on the look-out for pickpockets and works with store management and security to combat retail crime.