Search

Prolific ‘table-surfer’ who targeted Islington bars banned from carrying newspapers or magazines

12:21 03 May 2013

Laura Anghel

Laura Anghel

Archant

A prolific thief has been jailed and banned from carrying newspapers or magazines in cafes, pubs and restaurants anywhere in the country for three years.

Laura Anghel, 20, was handed an ASBO and an 18 month term in a young offenders institute for her part in a gang that swiped phones and valuables from people in Islington establishments after distracting them with magazines and papers, a crime wave known as ‘table-surfing.’

The crooks target people who leave their phone or other valuables on the table and either snatch the item as they walk past, or approach the victim with a bogus story, covering the items with a map or magazine and taking it with them when they leave.

One victim of Anghel’s tactics was sitting in a fast food restaurant when the thief came up to them pretending to be selling newspapers.

She plonked the papers on top of the victim’s phone and when they politely declined to buy any, Anghel took the papers and the stole the phone at the same time.

Anghel, from Sandcliff Road, Kent, was arrested and charged in February, then pleaded guilty to four counts of theft at Blackfriars Crown Court on April 25.

The ASBO also bans her from associating with the other members of the gang in public places.

Sgt Chris Walsh, part of the Angel Bid team said: “Anghel is a career thief who caused misery to victims who were in bars or cafes enjoying themselves by distracting them and then stealing their property from the table. This is a common type of theft and I strongly advise people to take care of their personal property, register your phones at www.immobilise.com. Don’t leave purses or gadgets on tables as thieves are lurking about waiting for an opportunity to strike.

“This ASBO will prevent Anghel from entering any licensed premises in England and Wales for a while and will help to reduce the number of thefts that happen in this manner.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
Zoe Ranson

A writer has spoken of her delight in being shortlisted for a prestigious new award which recognises the wide scope of unpublished novellas.

Thu, 18:30
Clerkenwell has been subject to a dispersal order by Islington Police for 48 hours since Wednesday

Borough Police have placed Clerkenwell on a 48 hour lockdown using a Dispersal Order.

Thu, 12:21
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Council warn that new build programme could suffer from goverment extension of the Right to Buy scheme

Thu, 12:05
Cllr Caroline Russell with Vicky Wilson in her meadow

Weed killer used by council ‘may be linked to cancer’

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder