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ABOVE: Razvan Dorosin, Marius Mereson and Carmen Feraru (Photo: Herts Police)

Three distraction thieves who worked together to target elderly and vulnerable people in Hertfordshire and Essex have been jailed for a total of 90 months.

They pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to steal bank cards, cash and other items between July 31st and November 7th, 2018.

Among the areas they targeted were Hatfield, Harpenden, Bishop's Stortford, St Albans, Waltham Cross, Buntingford, Hoddesdon, Watford, Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead.

St Albans Crown Court heard how the trio had travelled to the UK for the purpose of stealing and the court heard they targeted 16 people with a total loss of £19,790.

They were 40-year-old Marius Mereson of no fixed address, 33-year-old Razvan Dorosin, of Longbridge Road in Dagenham and Carmen Feraru, who's 47 and of no fixed address.

Judge Nigel Lithman QC jailed Mereson for 32 months and Dorosin and Feraru for 27 months each.

Detective Constable Simon Smith said: "These three individuals came to the UK from Romania with the sole intention of committing crime.

"They worked together to prey on the elderly and vulnerable who they saw as easy targets. Their eldest victim was a 98 year old man. His bank card was stolen and they attempted to use it to pay for thousands of pounds worth of goods.  

"They also targeted a partially sighted woman and several people aged in their 80s.

"This trio clearly have no conscience and did not give a second thought to the impact on their victims.

"We were able to identify them through CCTV enquiries and the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology. All three had previous convictions in this country and their home country. The most serious of which is Mereson's conviction in Romania for murder where he was jailed for eight years in 1998."

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