Two men jailed for stealing 108 dolls from Ruthin store

B&M store Ruthin Image copyright Google
Image caption Both men admitted theft but claimed that only 56 dolls were taken from B&M store

Two men have been jailed for 16 weeks for stealing 108 dolls from a store.

Valentin Gheban, 35, and Viorel Bazgan, 38, both of North Street, Stoke-on-Trent, were arrested at a B&M store in Ruthin, Denbighshire, on Friday.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said it was clear that the men had "done their homework" on which stores to target.

"It is pre-planned, wholesale theft and these offences are so serious that only immediate custody is justified," he said.

James Neary, prosecuting, said a customer at the store on 5 July told a member of staff that two men were seen putting items into two large holdalls. 

The police were alerted and, after the member of staff had followed the men for some way, the defendants and a third man were arrested near the Home Bargains store in Denbigh.

Inside the car were 108 dolls worth a total of £1,510, and CCTV footage confirmed that the defendants were responsible.

Speaking through an interpreter, both men admitted theft but claimed that only 56 dolls were taken, which Mr Neary described as "nonsense".

One of the men told Llandudno Magistrates' Court that he was looking for a job in the shipping industry.

Judge Jones also described the argument as "totally lacking in credibility" and commented that Ruthin, which is 20 miles inland, "does not have much of a history of shipbuilding or shipping industry".

The judge added: "Stores on our High Streets and retail parks are finding it difficult enough to survive without having people coming to deliberately steal."

The third man arrested has been released on bail.

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