Two Romanian robbers who targeted a 70-year-old Vale woman as well as other elderly and vulnerable victims have been jailed for six years.
Ioan Hutup, 30, of Rowley Garden, North London, and Elena Batan, 38, of Dock Road, Barking, Essex, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
It was revealed at Luton Crown Court that the pair had followed people at supermarket checkouts, recorded their pin numbers then followed them to their home address where a distraction burglary, usually involving asking for directions, was committed.
The duo then used the pin numbers which they had noted earlier to withdraw cash and buy luxury items on the card before it was cancelled.
On November 7, the pair took down the pin number of a 70-year-old woman who had been shopping at the Tesco store in Vimy Road, Leighton Buzzard.
When she returned to her home in Baldways Close, Wingrave, she was asked for directions to Birmingham.
As she helped them, her credit card was stolen and used to buy a laptop computer for £749.99 and other electrical goods valued at £599.99.
The card was also used in an attempt to buy over £1,200 worth of goods but was rejected.
Following the sentencing, Det Sgt Sebastian Greschner from the South Bedfordshire Serious Crime Team, said: “Hutup and Batan caused a huge amount of upset and stress to some very vulnerable victims and I am very pleased that the judge has noted the seriousness of these crimes and sent down a six-year sentence to the pair.
“This duo succeeded by noting people’s pin as they paid for their shopping and then following them to their homes to steal the cards using distraction methods.
“It is so important to protect your pin when at the checkout and never write the number down in case you forget it.