Members of Colombian gang of thieves jailed for stealing £2,000 from mum-of-two
Members of highly organised gang of Columbian thieves have been jailed for stealing £2,000 from a mum as she picked up holiday money.
Juan Francisco Conteras Blum, 55, Gladys Betulia Avila Villami, 59, and Wilson Roman Preciado, 40, followed the mum through Sutton town centre after she withdrew £2,000 in Euros in August.
They followed her from The Money shop in Sutton High Street to the St Nicholas Centre car park via Footlocker. As the mum had just settled her six-year-old son, who had a broken arm, and three-year-old daughter in the car, a man and woman approached on pointed out hundreds of nails and pins on the ground near her tyres.
The woman, who had recently replaced her tyres, bent down to sweep the nails away but when she looked up the man and woman had gone along with her child's bag, containing 2,280 Euros, her iPhone and a Luis Vuitton purse with her cards inside.
The woman phoned police who gathered CCTV from all over the town centre to try to track down the criminals. The footage revealed a gang of seven people arriving at Sutton train station that morning to look for victims to target. The footage showed the group all together and in smaller packs hunting around the town centre.
Three of the group were spotted visiting banks and watching customers without making transactions themselves. One of the gang was in The Money Shop as the victim exchanged her Sterling for Euros. Four suspects followed the woman into Footlocker while two remained outside.
Three members of the group were spotted in the car park where the theft happened and then five of them were seen running across the footbridge to the St Nicholas Centre - one of them was carrying the stolen bag.
Images of the gang were circulated to police and Blum, Villami and Preciado were all arrested.
The trio, none of whom had a UK address, were each sentenced to one year in jail at Blackfriars Crown Court last month after admitting conspiracy to steal.
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