A man who wore a custom-made pickpocket jacket over a women's swimsuit to steal mobile phones has been jailed. Dumitru Daniel Gusata was caught red-handed by police as he targeted music fans attending a rock concert.
The 32-year-old was wearing a women’s swimsuit backwards underneath a denim jacket which had numerous phone-sized pockets sewn into the lining. Police found five phones in his jacket which he stole from gig goers watching Don Broco perform at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham last Friday. His personal mobile phone was also found to have a ‘shopping list’ of different phone types alongside their various values.
He admitted going equipped to steal and three counts of theft and was jailed for four months at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday. Gusata, of Birmingham, was also ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge.
Inspector Christian Harrison, of West Midlands Police, said: “Popular venues like the Utilita, where large crowds gather, are prime targets for pickpockets and they could have ruined the night for some of the gig goers at Friday’s show. Fortunately, we were on to them and, working in tandem with staff at the arena, we stopped him in his tracks.”
Police say Gusata tried to ditch a number of phones while running across the dancefloor as police and security guards chased him. PC Matt Evans said: “Although it sounds odd, the back-to-front women’s swimming costume is a classic tool used by professional pickpockets as they use the gap that should be at the back to place stolen phones flat around their bodies which means they can hold onto large amounts of phones without it looking bulky, and that makes them harder to find during a search.
“The extra pockets sewn into the jacket was also a tell-tale sign that Gusata was intending to secretly carry a lot of phones out of the venue that night. We’re pleased that we were able to catch a key member of what is clearly a very prolific pickpocket gang, and we got all of the stolen property back to the victims.”