Prolific perfume burglar sentenced to four and a half years in prison
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A man has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple commercial burglary offences across Surrey, Hampshire and Thames Valley.
Bogdan Florea, 33, of Houseman Road, Farnborough, appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (11 April) where he was sentenced following a string of burglaries at multiple chemists and pharmacies across the three counties. His eight offences took place between July and September last year.
Officers were originally called to Elphicks in Farnham on Friday, 16 July 2021 following 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 burglaries of a similar nature where perfume and cosmetics were stolen. The other areas affected included Walton-on-Thames, Henley-on-Thames, Godalming, and Wallingford.
Following another report on Tuesday, 28 September of a similar burglary at Boots in Woodley, near Reading, enquiries identified Florea’s vehicle as being in the areas around the time the burglaries took place.
Officers attended the home address of Florea the following day and upon arrival saw him and three other males enter one of the vehicles involved in the offences and drive off. The vehicle was stopped swiftly afterwards by officers from West Surrey Proactive Team on Prospect Road in Farnborough.
Florea was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. He was also found in possession of fraudulent ID documents.
During a subsequent search of Florea’s bedroom, officers located a suitcase and a bag containing a total of 131 new high-value fragrances and beauty products, the majority still with the price tags attached, as well as shelves full of “tester” bottles of fragrances. In the boot of his car, price strips from the shelf edges of Boots were located, along with tools and industrial waste bags which had been used to carry the stolen property from the stores.
Further searches of Florea’s phone found multiple images of the stolen items, satellite navigation directions to the targeted stores, images of the false documents as well as images of Florea posing with large quantities of cash.
He was charged on Thursday, 30 September and remanded into custody.
Florea appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (11 April) where he was sentenced to 45 months for eight counts of Conspiracy to commit burglary and a further 9 months for two counts of Possession of false documents. Both sentences are to be served consecutively, however a 25% 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 said: “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.”
Detective Constable Pete Coe added: “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.”