Woman jailed for perfume theft racket after ‘distraction tactic’ was employed

A woman involved in a racket where a “distraction type” tactic was employed to steal 15 bottles of perfume valued at nearly €1,000 from a city centre shop was sentenced to five months in jail at Galway District Court this week.

Tita Samu (38 ) with an address at 205a Lurgan Park, Renmore, had initially entered a plea of not guilty to the theft committed at Brown Thomas, Eglinton Street, on November 23, 2008. However, she then changed her plea to guilty at Monday’s court sitting.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that the defendant entered Brown Thomas with three other females which included her 12-year-old daughter and 19-year-old daughter-in-law. He said that together they set up what is known as a “distraction type situation” and that the defendant had acted as a “look out”. They made off with 15 bottles of perfume which had a total value of €970.

When the Romanian national was arrested and questioned she recoverd two bottles of perfume but the other items had been sold on. The inspector added that the defendant has seven previous convictions including theft in December 2007 and receiving stolen items in 2002.

“It was a racket,” said Judge Mary Fahy. Inspector Coppinger then agreed with Judge Fahy’s belief that the women stole the items while the men waited to get rid of them.

Inspector Coppinger said that the women had been seen on CCTV committing the theft and when they returned to Shop Street the next day they were arrested.

“This is a racket... There are men waiting to offload it [the goods] and the women are taking the rap but they are acting in concert,” said Judge Fahy before convicting and sentencing Samu to five months in jail. Leave to appeal was granted.

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