Romanian shoplifter dived into River Thames in getaway bid

A 43-year-old man stole 22 bottles of alcohol and vegetables from a Sainsbury’s store

An unemployed Romanian immigrant who jumped into the River Thames after stealing 22 bottles of alcohol has been fined by magistrates.

Ion Ciusdel, 43, appeared before South West Surrey magistrates in Guildford on Tuesday July 1 and admitted stealing 21 bottles of gin, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and some vegetables.

The unemployed father-of-four had taken the items from Sainsbury’s in New Zealand Avenue, Walton, the day before.

Darren Matravers, prosecuting, said Ciusdel left the store with a trolly of alcohol and vegetables, totalling £433. But he quickly abandoned them after being challenged by the store’s security.

“So desperate was he to get away, he jumped into the River Thames and swam to the other side,” said Mr Matravers. “He didn’t get away and police were directed to the location.”

Ciusdel admitted taking the items in an interview with police.

Mr Matravers said that in a statement, Ciusdel said: “I know what I did was very wrong and I’m sorry. I will not do it again.”

Speaking on behalf of Ciusdel in court, Rachel Lucas said he arrived in the UK from Romania seven months ago to try to find work but has been unable to hold down any full-time employment.

“He was meeting a friend to do some gardening and decorating work,” she said.

“However, his friend failed to show up.

“He doesn’t know what he intended to do with the alcohol.”

Ciusdel, of Station Street West, Coventry, was fined £183, plus £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £20.

All the stolen items were recovered.

He also pleaded guilty to breaching a 12-month conditional discharge imposed by North West London magistrates on June 9.



Shoplifter dived into River Thames in getaway bid


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