Three jailed for theft of £12k gold watch in Brighton
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Three people have been jailed for stealing a £12,000 watch from a shop in Brighton.
Florentin Niculae, 46, of no fixed address, George Paun, 29, of no fixed address, and Stela Sava, 23, of Boundary Road in London, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on 17 December where they all pleaded guilty to theft. In addition, Niculae pleaded guilty to assault and Paun pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Police were called to the shop near London Road, Brighton at 2.15pm on 7 October to a report of three people taking a high value watch before making off in a dark green Mercedes.
Sava and Niculae went into the shop and asked to view various items while Paun waited outside in the Mercedes. While the owner of the shop was distracted, Sava took the expensive watch from the unlocked cabinet and both ran out of the shop without paying.
The victim chased the suspects and attempted to stop them from stealing the watch, when he was assaulted by Niculae. He was then dragged along the ground as the car sped off while he was holding onto it.
While paramedics attended to the victim, officers swiftly tracked the suspect vehicle travelling out of Brighton on the A23 as they attempted to get away. The three occupants of the vehicle were arrested and the watch was recovered.
Niculae was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment, Paun was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and Sava was sentenced to four months imprisonment.
Rose Horan said: "This was a pre-meditated act by three thieves who chose to visit Brighton and deliberately target the victim's shop.
"Not only did they steal a high value Rolex watch, they also assaulted him in the process leaving him injured and extremely shaken.
"We are pleased the court has taken this matter seriously and served each of them with custodial sentences reflecting the harm they caused in this case."