A PROFESSIONAL thief who stole a diamond ring worth £56,000 from a jeweller’s in Leeds city centre has been jailed for three years.
A court was shown CCTV footage of Terca Anghel, 38, fooling a sales assistant after going into the shop in the Victoria Quarter with her husband, Rosmarin.
Leeds Crown Court heard Terca, a member of the Roma community, has a string of convictions for theft across the UK and Europe.
Terca handed herself in to police in London a year after the theft in Leeds, which happened on August 25, 2014, after a row with her husband.
The court heard Rosmarin is still at large and his whereabouts are unknown.
Ben Campbell, prosecuting, said Rosmarin went into the W Hamond store the day before the theft and asked a shop assistant about some of the rings on sale.
“It was a professional offence of theft and you are a thoroughly dishonest woman.”Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC
He left after finding out the value of a £56,000 ring, saying he would return with his wife.
The couple returned the next day and Terca distracted the shop assistant by asking for a ring re-sizer to be put on her finger.
Rosmarin then stole the 18 carot white gold diamond encrusted ring as this was being done. The pair left the shop and the ring has never been recovered.
The mother-of-three handed herself in at a police station in August last year after a row with her husband and admitted the offence.
Terca then changed her story and tried to claim she was not the person on the footage. She later pleaded guilty to theft.
Terca Anghel has 19 previous convictions for theft in across UK and others across Europe.
Offences in this country were committed at Hounslow, Market Harborough, Lincoln, Leicester and London.
The court heard she also has previous convictions for targeting jewellers, including stealing a ring from a store in Otley.
Anghel and her husband also appeared before a court in Germany for theft in February 2014.
Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, described some of the previous sentences handed to Anghel as “remarkably lenient.”
Michael Cogan, mitigating, said Terca changed her story after handing herself in to police after her husband managed to contact her and put pressure on her.
Mr Cogan said Rosmarin had now abandoned his wife and three children and his whereabouts are unknown.
The barrister said: “She accepts that she is an adult and makes her own decisions. But in the context of a Roma family that is easier said then done.
“We are dealing with a professional thief, but in many respects she is now a retired professional because she has got away from the influence that was making her join in.”
Judge Marson said: “This was a planned, sophisticated offence. It was a professional offence of theft and you are a thoroughly dishonest woman.”
Police are continuing their hunt for Rosmarin Anghel but it is not know whether he is still in the UK.
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact PC 857 Kirsty Anderson at Leeds District Headquarters via 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.