Gang jailed for stealing woman’s life savings in Islington supermarket

A pensioner who had her �12,000 life savings snatched in a supermarket saw the professional Colombian gang responsible sentenced to imprisonment and deportation this week.

The 76-year-old woman got some comfort after the heartless theft when the thieves, a woman and two men aged 43 to 54, were jailed for two years each at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday and told they would be deported after serving their time.

They stole the bag full of cash from the woman’s trolley as she shopped in Waitrose in Liverpool Road, Islington, on November 8 – having followed her for nearly an hour from a nearby bank. They struck after creating a distraction by throwing a handful of pound coins on the floor.

The pensioner, who asked not to be named, said: “I knew there was something wrong because you don’t throw money, you drop it. My legs felt like jelly and I was in shock when it happened.

“But life goes on – it happened and I can’t do anything about it. I’m not going to let three measly criminals make me a victim. I’m pleased they have been jailed because they could have done it to someone else.”

She also praised the work of the police, adding: “I was treated exceptionally well by Sgt Chris Walsh and his team and they were so quick at catching them. I really appreciate that.”

Police snared the culprits after identifying them in CCTV footage and tracing them to a south London address, but the money has not been recovered.

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Sgt Chris Walsh, of the Angel town centre team, said: “She had taken her life savings to change them into higher denominations. “When the woman in the gang threw some coins on the floor, a man stepped up to the trolley and picked up her bag. He was gone before she realised what happened.

“This was a despicable crime against an elderly woman. We were determined to catch these three criminals who made a career out of distraction thefts.”

Lesvia Hernandez, 49, of Chantrey Road, Brixton, Guilermo Ramos, 43, also of Chantrey Road, and Dulfay Quintero, 54, of Stockwell Road, Brixton, all pleaded guilty to theft.