Birmingham Utilita Arena pickpocket Dumitru Daniel Gusata jailed

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Pickpocket thief Dumitru Daniel Gusata was arrested at a British rock band concert at Utilita Arena in Birmingham where police found him dressed in a woman’s swimsuit - ready to steal

A professional pickpocket was given a prison sentence after he was caught red-handed.

Dumitru Daniel Gusata was arrested at a British rock band’s show at the Utilita Arena on Friday March 24. He was subsequently sentenced to four months in prison for going equipped to steal and theft at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday March 27. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £154.

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West Midlands Police said: “We’d been gathering intelligence about pickpockets that had targeted gigs and were set to strike again in Birmingham. Acting on the information we received, and working with the Utilita security team, we deployed uniformed and plain clothes officers to the venue.

“Mingling among the audience, our officers quickly spotted Gusata working the crowd. On seeing our officers, he ditched a number of mobile phones on the dancefloor and made off through the crowd. We gave chase, quickly catching him and recovered five discarded phones.”

The police found that Gusata was wearing a women’s swimsuit back to front under his clothes, as well as a denim jacket with additional phone-sized pockets sewn into the lining.

His personal mobile phone was also found to have a ‘shopping list’ of different phone types alongside their various values. The five phones recovered were returned to their grateful owners who had gathered to report them stolen to venue staff.

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The police added that during interview, Gusata initially denied any involvement in the phone thefts, but after being charged he changed his mind, pleading guilty in court to going equipped to steal and three counts of theft from the person.

Inspector Christian Harrison, Birmingham West Neighbourhood Policing Manager, said: “Popular venues like the Utilita, where large crowds gather, are prime targets for pickpockets and they could have ruined the night for some of the gig goers at Friday’s show.

“Fortunately, we were on to them and, working in tandem with staff at the arena, we stopped him in his tracks. I’d like to thank staff at the arena for their support. This was a great team effort and a successful operation.”

Dumitru Daniel Gusata, left, and the denim jacket he was wearing with additional phone-sized pockets sewn into the liningDumitru Daniel Gusata, left, and the denim jacket he was wearing with additional phone-sized pockets sewn into the lining
Dumitru Daniel Gusata, left, and the denim jacket he was wearing with additional phone-sized pockets sewn into the lining | West Midlands Police

Birmingham West Neighbourhood Policing Officer PC Matt Evans, added: “Although it sounds odd, the back-to-front women’s swimming costume is a classic tool used by professional pickpockets as they use the gap that should be at the back to place stolen phones flat around their bodies which means they can hold onto large amounts of phones without it looking bulky, and that makes them harder to find during a search.

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“The extra pockets sewn into the jacket was also a tell-tale sign that Gusata was intending to secretly carry a lot of phones out of the venue that night.

“We’re pleased that we were able to catch a key member of what is clearly a very prolific pickpocket gang, and we got all of the stolen property back to the victims.”

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