Two "footsoldiers" in a gang from Eastern Europe that has stolen more than £2.5 million from London parking meters were each jailed for nine months yesterday at Southwark Crown Court.
Antonio Mia, 22, and Shpetim Bujaj, 25, who are both refugees, were arrested after members of the public saw them unlocking machines and helping themselves to the contents. The pair were said to be part of a massive operation run in the City of Westminster by crime bosses from Eastern Europe.
And the new EU accession countries make their contribution.
A gang of thieves proved they were as light-fingered as they were light-footed when they stole thousands of pounds' worth of family jewellery after distracting a shop owner with a display of traditional dancing.
The 12-strong troupe, who claimed to be Spanish but who police believe are Romanian, put on displays in two stores in Nelson, Lancashire, but as the dancing was taking place their accomplices were plundering nearby living quarters.