THE face of a calculated and cunning thief who targeted young women at their place of work can now be revealed.

Earlier this month, the Warrington Guardian reported how Florin Mariescu planned the theft of iPhones and stole three using the same method.

The 23-year-old was caught however and brought to justice before Warrington Magistrates’ Court, having been found guilty of three charges of theft from a person after a trial.

Due to the length of sentence he received, Cheshire Police said it was unable to release his custody photo at the time.

However, it has since been shared by the force on its social media channels, with officers branding him a ‘professional thief with no regard’ for others.

The facts of the case were given by Clare Oliver, representing the prosecution, who explained that the first incident occurred in Warrington on May 25 last year.

The defendant stole an iPhone 12 Pro worth £800.

Days later, he targeted two women on the same day in Warrington and Nantwich, stealing an iPhone 14 Pro Max worth £1,500 and an iPhone 13 Pro of a value unknown.

It was heard that he travelled from one location to another on the same day, targeting young women in their working environment.

These included a travel agents, a nail bar and a recruitment agency.

On each occasion, he approached distracted female staff at their desks by holding a piece of paper detailing cleaning services.

The defendant then used this paper as cover to steal their phones that had been kept on their desks – otherwise known as table surfing.

He was identified by Cheshire Police after officers trawled through town centre CCTV to capture a vehicle he used.

Officers of Lancashire Police stopped the car in Preston, after intelligence was shared by colleagues in Cheshire.

When interviewed, Mariescu denied any part in the offences and failed to attend court, with a trial run in his absence after he was declared wanted.

Taking into account the defendant’s lack of remorse demonstrated by his not guilty pleas and the severity of his offending, magistrates deemed that custody was inevitable.

Referencing his ‘flagrant disregard for people and their property’, the number of offences and the degree of planning, it was concluded that a suspended sentence was not appropriate.

They deemed that appropriate punishment could only be achieved by way of an immediate prison sentence.

Mariescu, of Cravendale Road in Dewsbury, was sentenced to 20 weeks immediate imprisonment.

No order was made for him to pay court costs or a statutory victim surcharge, with magistrates instead prioritising compensation of £2,429.91, split between all three victims.

Welcoming the sentence, Cheshire Police said: “This was a professional thief who had no regard for the financial hardships his crimes would inflict on his victims.

“At least now he knows to give Cheshire a wide berth.”