Undercover cops pounce on pickpockets outside Edinburgh Castle targeting festival tourists

A PAIR of pickpockets have been jailed after targeting tourists at the castle during the festivals.

By Andy Shipley
Friday, 6th September 2019, 2:15 pm
The pair targeted visitors to the castle
The pair targeted visitors to the castle

Undercover cops pounced on Edie Constantinescu, 44, and Stefan Ienciu, 51, as they preyed on visitors.

They were caged for two months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to two charges of theft at an earlier hearing.

Chief Inspector Murray Starkey said: “We understand the distress pickpocketing incidents cause and over the summer months we had extra officers patrolling the city as part of Operation Summer City to tackle such acquisitive crimes.”

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The pair targeted visitors to the castle

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The pair, both of no fixed abode, stole money from a Chinese tourist at the castle on July 30 before stealing a purse and a pair of spectacles from another on August 19.

Mr Starkey, who led on Operation Summer City added: “Edie Constantinescu and Stefan Ienciu targeted tourists at Edinburgh Castle and stole property, including money, from visitors to our city on 30th July and 19th August.

“The offences were captured on CCTV and local officers on plain-clothes patrols in popular tourist areas arrested the pair on Wednesday 21st August.”

The Evening News reported how a pickpocket and his accomplice preyed on unsuspecting tourists in the Royal Mile over last summer.

Gheorghita Asmarandi, 49, stole more than £2,000 in cash, passports and a wallet from three sightseers between June and August.

The Romanian national was jailed for 30 weeks at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after admitting the thefts and ordered to be deported after completing his sentence.

His sidekick Iolanda Cantonistru, 29, was sent down for 80 days and was also to be deported on release after pleading guilty to one charge.

Mr Starkey added: “We remain committed to keeping Edinburgh a safe place to visit during the festival, and during the other events the capital hosts throughout the year, and are committed to bringing such offenders before the courts.”

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