Romanian burglary gang jailed for more than 27 years


A Romanian burglary gang, who flew to the UK to commit more than 100 burglaries across West Midlands over the course of three years, have been jailed for a total of 27 years and four months.

Catalin Zaharia (29), Constantin Stoian (29), Marian Molocia (27), Daniel Stoean (35) and Florina Spiru (27) received their sentences today (Tuesday 1 October) at Birmingham Crown Court.

The five defendants carried out hundreds of burglaries on affluent properties in Solihull, Hamsted and Walsall between the end of 2015 and December 2018. They also targeted homes in West Mercia, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire.

They broke into homes in pairs, usually through the first floor window and stole valuable items including jewellery and cash. They flew into the country to carry out their crimes between November and January of each year before returning to Romania.

The defendants laundered the cash they stole via money transfer, sold the gold and even physically transported stolen goods out of the country.

The court heard the defendants knew how to avoid burglar alarms and on a number of occasions were seen moving CCTV cameras to avoid being captured.

They were arrested on 10 December 2018 when police raided a property in Oldbury.

All five defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary:

  • Catalin Zaharia pleaded guilty and was jailed for eight years
  • Constantin Stoian pleaded guilty and was jailed for four years and six months
  • Marian Molocia pleaded guilty and was jailed for six years and four months
  • Daniel Stoean pleaded guilty and was jailed for four years
  • Florina Spiru was cleared of the burglary charge but jailed for four years and six months for money laundering.

David Rouse of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This case demonstrates that the criminal justice system has the capability to deal with organised crime groups such as this, and I would like to thank all the victims who came forward to report the burglary of their home, which was a traumatic and distressing event for them, as this outcome would not have been possible without them doing so.

"The message is: when something happens, report it and something can be done about it”.

Notes to editors

  • David Rouse is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands
  • A timetable for recovery of the proceeds of crime has now been set for 19 May 2020.

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