A PAIR who stole bank cards from ‘elderly and vulnerable’ people fleecing more than £12,000 from their accounts have been jailed.

Stefan Voroniuc, 41, and Nadis Sulitanu, 40, were each sentenced to a total of 20 months imprisonment for a spate of theft and fraud offences.

The man and woman admitted committing 10 and eight offences respectively. In one incident the pair targeted an elderly women in Didcot while she was shopping.

Oxford Crown Court heard on Tuesday how the duo committed a ‘series of distraction thefts’ stealing bank cards from elderly and vulnerable people between August 2015 and February 2016.

Areas in which the crimes were committed included places outside the county, but the pair targeted one woman at a Tesco store in Didcot in February 2016.

Prosecutor Emma King said the victim was a 73-year-old woman who had used her debit card in the store and realised it was missing when she got home.

She said later that day a black BMW was stopped on the M42 and police found cash and a number of items in the car. Both defendants were arrested. The court was told that Voroniuc and Sulitanu stole a total of £12,773 from five victims.

Judge Ian Pringle, sentencing the pair, said the defendants targeted the elderly and managed to secure their pin numbers before they ‘tricked them out of their bank cards’, withdrew cash or bought goods from retail stores as soon as they could. He sentenced Voroniuc to 20 months imprisonment for five fraud offences and 12 months imprisonment for five thefts concurrently.

Judge Pringle handed the same sentence to Sulitanu for four fraud offences and four theft offences.

Defending Sulitanu, of HMP Saville Road, Peterborough, Hardev Bhomra said the Romanian national accepted her guilt and was ‘remorseful for her actions’. He said she wanted to send the cash back to Romania for her family. Defending Voroniuc, of Boscombe Road, Birmingham, Alison Scott-Jones said the best mitigation was his early guilty plea.