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Organised gang who stole £70,000 worth of alcohol from supermarkets in King’s Lynn, London, Kent and Essex have been jailed





An organised gang who stole £70k of booze from supermarkets from a number of counties, including Norfolk, have been jailed.

The brazen thieves often targeted champagne as they stole more than £70,000 worth of alcohol from numerous supermarkets, including in Lynn.

Valeriu Cobzarencu, Andrei Stefan, Vincentiu Gheorghe, Ionut-Razvan Gheorghe and Alin Chica worked together to steal from stores in London, Kent, Essex and Norfolk.

Valeriu Cobzarencu received a one-year and eight months sentence in prison. Picture: Kent Police
Valeriu Cobzarencu received a one-year and eight months sentence in prison. Picture: Kent Police

The group targeted Supermarket chains such as Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s between November 21, 2021 and September 1, 2022.

They targeted towns including but not limited to Lynn, as well as Aylesford, Gravesend, Maidstone, Broadstairs and Dover in Kent, and Colchester in Essex.

The five of them stole thousands of pounds of alcohol during each visit, often between £2,000 and £5,000.

Andrei Stefan was sentenced to two years in jail.
Andrei Stefan was sentenced to two years in jail.

On 5 February 2022 they stole nearly £6,000 worth of alcohol from Sainsbury’s in South Woodham Ferrers in Essex.

Each of the men had distinct roles and worked together using earpieces and mobile phones to ensure vehicles were nearby to swiftly remove the stolen goods.

Alin Chica and Ionut-Razvan Gheorghe were arrested on February 24, 2022 after they were reported to have stolen alcohol from Sainsbury’s in Pepper Hill, Gravesend in Kent.

Police launched an investigation which gathered CCTV and mobile phone data which revealed the group had been travelling across the county.

Vincentiu Gheorghe received a sentence of two years and one month in jail. Picture: Kent Police
Vincentiu Gheorghe received a sentence of two years and one month in jail. Picture: Kent Police

Officers were able to build up a picture of the supermarket raids and they were all later arrested and subsequently charged with conspiracy to steal alcohol.

The case concluded at Maidstone Crown Court on July 14 where 35-year-old Stefan, of Sutherland Road, Greater London was sentenced to two years in jail.

Meanwhile, 30-year-old Cobzarencu, of the same address as Stefan, was jailed for one year and eight months.

Ionut-razvan Gheorghe was sentenced to two years and three months in jail. Picture: Kent Police
Ionut-razvan Gheorghe was sentenced to two years and three months in jail. Picture: Kent Police

The other men were sentenced at a previous sentencing on July 7 at the same court.

Vincentiu Gheorghe, 34, of Raglan Road, London, was jailed for two years and one month.

Ionut-razvan Gheorghe, 35, of Byron Road, Walthamstow, London, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

Alin Chica, 23, of Erskine Road, Walthamstow, London, was sentenced to one year and six months in jail.

Alin Chica was sentenced to one year and six months in jail. Picture: Kent Police
Alin Chica was sentenced to one year and six months in jail. Picture: Kent Police

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Chris Ellingham he was “pleased” to see the men sentenced.

He said: “This was a complex case which spanned several counties.

“They were brazen in their actions, stealing vast quantities in broad daylight and working together to move and sell the alcohol.

“They committed numerous incidents of theft across the country and believed they would get away with their offending.

“While the supermarkets have insurance to recover their losses, theft is not acceptable.”



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