Man Stole Chewing Gum To Get Home

PUBLISHED: 10:19 12 December 2011

"In interview he made full admissions to the offence, telling officers he was shoplifting in order to fund a ticket to enable him to get back to Romania," prosecutor Laura Mardell said.

A ROMANIAN who was desperate for money to return home travelled hundreds of miles to steal £500-worth of chewing gum from an Ely supermarket.

Lucian Mitranus had already been cautioned for theft in West Mercia after a prospective job offer in Nottingham failed to materialise.

Four days later he was caught loading up a trolley in the city’s Tesco store with £467.70 of chewing gum – and walking out without paying.

“You were given a caution for theft, yet just four days later you were found with a very large amount of goods, mainly chewing gum, which we cannot begin to understand,” presiding magistrate Marissa Johnson said.

“I just wonder what kind of scam we are dealing with?”

Mitigating, James Manning added: “Obviously, it’s not for personal use.”

Mitranus, of Gadd Street, Nottingham, was later given a 12-month conditional discharge for the offence of shoplifting on November 28.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard how Mitranus’ hopes of work at a car wash in the East Midlands were dashed once he arrived in Britain.

The 36-year-old had just £170 to his name and was having to shell out £70 per month to rent a room with fellow nationals who he met on his arrival.

“In interview he made full admissions to the offence, telling officers he was shoplifting in order to fund a ticket to enable him to get back to Romania,” prosecutor Laura Mardell said.

Mrs Johnson added: “The courts are very concerned about these two incidents.”

She said a conditional discharge was the best sentence because: “Next time you’re in court, this can be added to whatever else you’re in court for and it’ll result in greater punishment.

“Please be warned that if you come to court again, you’re very likely to receive a custodial sentence and be sent to prison.”

Mitranus must also pay £85 court costs.

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