Three females convicted of defrauding homeowners

20/06/2016

A 19-year-old woman and two 17-year-old youths have today been sentenced at Warwick Crown Court after they pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to targeting elderly and vulnerable victims who they defrauded and stole from.

On Monday 18 January 2016, Doriela Barbu and the two 17-year-old females, who cannot be named for legal reasons, caught a train from Birmingham New Street Station to Leamington Spa.

The defendants then visited a number of homes in Warwick and Leamington Spa where they produced a card to the homeowner claiming to be collecting for charity on behalf of those who are disabled and deaf with the intention of convincing the occupants to hand over money to them.

On one occasion, the defendants gained entry into the home of an 88-year-old victim by claiming to be nurses. Once inside, they began to search her home but before they could steal anything, the support worker for the victim arrived and the defendants ran away pushing the support worker aside.

The defendants also targeted a disabled victim who they approached and asked for directions. While the victim was distracted, one of the defendants reached into the victim's pocket and tried to steal a mobile telephone. The victim moved away from them and the three females then walked away.

The police were informed of the actions of defendants who were later arrested.

  • Doriela Barbu pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and one count each of burglary and attempted theft. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment
  • The two 17-year-old youths both pleaded guilty to three counts each of fraud and one of burglary, and they were both given a 12 month Youth Rehabilitation Order.

Louisa Connolly, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Doriela Barbu and her co-defendants travelled from Birmingham to Warwickshire with the intention of targeting and stealing from vulnerable victims.

"They went door-to-door claiming to be collecting for charity for those who are disabled and deaf, and asking for money from homeowners as well as looking for any opportunities to steal. They even targeted a disabled victim and tried to steal a mobile phone of them.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind all homeowners to stay vigilant at all times when answering the door to strangers and always check their identification before letting them into your home."