‘One man crimewave’ - Birmingham thief convicted of six crimes in the city centre

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Nicusor Paun stole from Bullring restaurants, the Briar Rose pub and shops in the Chinese Quarter in Birmingham

A prolific Birmingham thief has been brought to justice as part of an operation to catch and convict pickpockets and phone thieves around the West Midlands.

Nicusor Paun, from Washwood Heath, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary and two counts of theft from the person after he targeted students, restaurant goers and shop workers in a month-long crime spree across the city centre. The 28 year-old was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (18 August) to 18 months jail.

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Nicusor Paun Nicusor Paun
Nicusor Paun | West Midlands Police

Timeline of Nicusor Paun’s crimes

  • 2 April - Paun entered Haidilao Hotpot restaurant in the Bullring, stealing three iPads, and snuck into the rear staff rooms where CCTV caught him going through the personal effects of staff who were busy working.
  • 6 April - Paun went to the Briar Rose pub on Bennetts Hill and distracted a woman to steal her phone.
  • 17 April - Paun went into Bill’s restaurant in the Bullring and sat next to a victim whose phone was in sight next to them. Using a restaurant menu, Paun covered the phone and was able to steal it unseen and leave the restaurant before the victim realised what had happened.
  • 24 April - Paun went to Birmingham City University (BCU) and once inside the student-only area, he went room to room looking for things to steal before he found a laptop in a study area which was briefly unattended. He tucked the laptop under his arm and exited the building. The victim was left distraught as the laptop contained all of her university work and was left having to re-write everything in order to save her degree.
  • 4 & 8 May - Paun targeted two shops in Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter, distracting staff and stealing their phones by reaching over the counter. He was caught after officers recognised him after receiving a call to say a suspicious man was on the university campus.

‘One man crime wave’

PC Matt Evans, from Birmingham Police, said: “Officers all over the West Midlands are working together to target and arrest prolific thieves like Paun who travel all over the country to commit crime.

“This was a great result with security guards, the public, and police all working together as a team to identify a career thief and bring him to justice. Paun was a one-man crime wave and it’s good to know he’s now being punished for his callous behaviour.”