Birmingham & Black Country

Designer clothing worth £100,000 stolen by Birmingham couple

Ionut and Mirela Vasile Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Ionut (left) and Mirela Vasile stole clothing from shops across the country

A couple who stole designer clothing worth over £100,000 have been jailed.

Ionut and Mirela Vasile stole items at shops in Manchester, Edinburgh, London, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.

The most expensive item stolen was a £4,400 dress from Louis Vuitton in London.

The pair of Westbury Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham admitted conspiracy to steal and were sentenced to three years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court.

The "corrupt couple" had "perfected a tactic of distracting fitting room staff" as they hid clothes in changing rooms for accomplices to take later, West Midlands Police said.

They used foil-lined bags to get the items through security detectors.

Image copyright West Midlands Police/BBC
Image caption The total amount of clothing the couple stole is valued at £106,000

The Vasiles first became known to police in Birmingham after they stole from the Michael Kors store in the Bullring shopping centre in January 2015.

Police say inquiries at stores across the country led them to uncover CCTV footage that showed them pulling off their scam in Manchester, Edinburgh, London, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.

More on this and other stories from Birmingham and the Black Country

Mirela Vasile, 34, was arrested on 27 April 2015, with Ionut Vasile, 35, arrested on 11 December 2015.

Tops from Alexander McQueen and Browns were found at the couple's home.

Police examined the pair's mobile phones and found messages from potential buyers.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: "We found stolen clothes at their home that had been rebranded with a homemade price tag, the kind you might find at an independent shop, plus a price ticketing gun.

"They were living in private accommodation with no obvious income so it appears their whole lifestyle was funded through shoplifting."

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