Holloway station pickpocket jailed

Luca Petronel

Luca Petronel - Credit: Archant

A pickpocket has been jailed after he stole a Tube passenger’s mobile phone as she listened to music on it.

Petronal Luca, 26, of no fixed address, was jailed for 16 weeks for the theft at Holloway Road Underground station on May 2.

The 19-year-old victim was listening to music on her phone which was in the unzipped front pocket of her handbag. She entered the station’s busy lift and noticed her music cut out and her headphones no longer connected to her phone.

Another passenger approached her and explained that he had seen Luca put his hand into her bag and take the phone.

The victim then confronted Luca in the ticket hall and, although he denied it, British Transport Officers were called and arrested Luca.

Speaking after the sentencing at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Pc Adrian Liberman, the investigating officer, said: “Petronal Luca targeted the victim because her bag was unzipped, making it possible for him to easily dip into her bag and steal her phone.

“We take theft very seriously and anyone caught stealing from passengers on the London Underground network will be brought to justice.”

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He added: “BTP has recently launched Operation Magnum, an initiative designed to crack down on the theft of passenger’s property.

“Our pickpocket squad officers patrol the Tube network every day and are highly trained in spotting the kind of behaviour that tells them someone is intent on theft.

“We arrest these types of offenders every day but there are also lots of things that passengers can do to make sure they protect themselves from pickpockets.

“Remember to zip up your bags, keep your jewellery, mobile phones and MP3 players hidden and stay alert to what’s going on around you.”