Burglar scent to jail after perfume theft spree that started at Elphicks in Farnham
A BURGLAR who went on to steal more than 130 designer perfumes from a string of chemists after a raid at Elphicks in Farnham, then posed with wads of cash on social media has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Bogdan Florea, 33, first targeted Farnham’s Victorian department store in July last year, followed by Boots and Superdrug stores across Surrey, Hampshire and Thames Valley by breaking in when they were closed and making off with high-value perfumes.
He was caught after his car was spotted near a break-in in Reading, Berkshire, last September.
When cops searched his home in Farnborough, Surrey, they found a suitcase and a bag with a total of 131 new high-value fragrances and beauty products stashed inside.
The majority still had the price tags attached, as well as shelves full of “tester” bottles of fragrances, police said.
In the boot of his car, price strips from the shelf edges of Boots were found, along with tools and industrial waste bags which had been used to carry the stolen property from the stores.
His phone had a slew of incriminating pictures of the stolen items, satnav directions to the shops that had been raided, plus pictures of false ID he had and showed to police.
Florea also had images of himself posing with large amounts of cash and gold jewellery that were posted on TikTok.
Officers were first called to Elphicks in Farnham, Surrey, last July 16 to reports of a large quantity of perfume being stolen a short time later, Hampshire Police were called to a similar incident at Boots, Fleet.
Over the course of three months, more calls from Boots and Superdrug stores came in reporting similar burglaries where perfume and cosmetics were stolen.
The other areas affected included Walton-on-Thames, Henley-on-Thames, Godalming, and Wallingford in Surrey.
Following another report last September 28 of a burglary at Boots in Woodley, near Reading, Florea’s vehicle was found to be in the area around the time.
When officers went to his home the next day, Florea and three other men were seen getting into one of the vehicles involved in the crimes and then drove off.
The vehicle was stopped soon after and Florea was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. He was also found with fraudulent ID documents.
At Guildford Crown Court last Monday (April 11), Florea was jailed for 45 months for eight counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and a further nine months for two counts of possession of false documents between July and September last year.
Both sentences are to be served consecutively, but a 25 per cent sentence discount was given due to an early guilty plea.
The judge also ordered Florea to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
Investigating Officer Detective Constable Pete Coe of Surrey Police said after the hearing: “Following a thorough investigation, we managed to place Florea’s vehicle in the right place at the right time.
“Florea would go to the places he targeted with the equipment necessary to break in.
“He even carried a fake driving licence which he presented to officers when he was confronted and removed the number plates of the vehicles to try and hide his identity.
“Businesses have faced a really challenging time during the pandemic and have been working hard to get back on their feet. Florea’s criminality for his own gain made this even more difficult.
“Not only did he steal thousands of pounds worth of their valuable stock, he would often smash windows to gain entry, causing large amounts of damage and even more disruption.
“I would like to thank the other forces involved for their collaborative work with our team which ensured that Florea was brought to justice and hope that this acts as a deterrent to other commercial burglars that we will do everything possible to prevent you from committing these crimes in our local communities.”
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