Court hears arrest warrant issued in Romania for thief caught ‘red handed’ in £2,000 jewellery ‘distraction’ theft in Ballymena

Jewellery is pictured in the window of 'Outdoor Adventure' in Ballymena. Picture - Google.
Jewellery is pictured in the window of ‘Outdoor Adventure’ in Ballymena. Picture – Google.

An arrest warrant was issued in Romania to bring a jewellery thief, who was “caught red-handed,” back to Northern Ireland to face justice, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

Ioan Sava (20), was one of two males who were involved in a ‘distraction’ theft of jewellery worth almost £2,000 in a shop in Ballymena during the Christmas holidays in 2015.

The defendant appeared before the court via video link from prison.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth said Sava had been previously been convicted in his absence and then an arrest warrant had been issued to bring him from Romania.

A prosecutor said that at 4pm on December 30, 2015, police received a report of theft from the ‘Outdoor Adventure’ shop in Ballymena’s Church Street and two males were arrested.

The men had asked to view a tray of four chains and as Sava went to buy a chain he and the other male distracted the shop worker.

Sava lifted one of the chains on the tray when the males were pointing at different things to make her turn around.

Money was also being “thrown” onto the counter which the shop worker found distracting.

As she was putting the tray back in the window she noticed a chain missing but when the males then asked to view bracelets it gave the shop worker the chance to get a colleague to view CCTV which showed Sava putting the chain in his pocket.

Michael Smyth said his client and a co-accused, who had previously been given a five months sentence suspended for three years, had been “caught red-handed” on the CCTV.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said Sava had no relevant criminal record in Northern Ireland and handed down a similar sentence.

He warned Sava if he committed any offence in Northern Ireland which carries imprisonment in the next three years the five months would be activated on top of the sentence given for the new offence.

The defendant’s address was only listed on the charge sheet as Woodview Terrace, Castletown, which is believed to be in Dundalk in the Irish Republic.

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