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Crime spree duo faces deportation after prison sentence

Two men from Essex who embarked on a day of crime across a 75-mile area of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire have been jailed at Lincoln Crown Court.

Lincoln Crown Court

Costel Copalea and his accomplice Marius Stanescu targeted victims in Stamford, Bourne and Sleaford as well as in Cambridgeshire in July.

Their intent was to steal mobile phones by distracting their victims, but although they were persistent, they only managed to take three, the court had heard.

They approached children as young as 12 and made sexually suggestive comments to a teenage girl during their spree.

They were eventually arrested in Northamptonshire the next day.

Copalea, 20, and Stanescu, 21, both of Manford Way, in Chigwell, Essex, each admitted a charge of conspiracy to steal.

Between them, the pair have previous convictions in five other European countries.

They were each jailed for 32 months and are likely to face deportation.