Two Romanian tourists were sentenced to 90 days in jail for their roles in bilking more than $7,000 from an elderly Tillsonburg woman late last year.
Now, the pair will likely be deported after serving their sentences.
Constantin Stingaciu, 33, and Liliana Cucos, 49, both of Romania, came to Canada as tourists on Nov. 6. On Nov. 21, the pair were involved in the theft from a senior at Walmart in Tillsonburg and were later arrested.
Assistant Crown attorney Sandra Kent outlined what Justice Matthew Edward Graham called a “sophisticated” theft. One of the two memorized the victim’s PIN from behind while she was paying while the other stole the 72-year-old woman’s wallet, distracting her by speaking in a foreign language outside the store. The stolen wallet contained the credit card, $300 cash and numerous gift cards.
Using the credit card, Kent said Stingaciu and Cucos stole almost $6,700, using the card at, among other places, local Money Marts in Oxford County.
Through an interpreter, Stingaciu and Cucos separately pleaded guilty to three charges, including possession of someone else’s personal information, use of a stolen credit card and impersonating with intent.
Lawyer Rhonda Fawcett looked to have the pair sentenced to time served pre-sentencing, a total of 27 days each.
Fawcett noted she wasn’t seeking probation or restitution, as there would be no way of enforcing either because the pair was “likely” to be deported from Canada.
But Kent argued an example needed to be set and asked for a total of 90 days in jail each, with restitution orders and 18 months of probation. Graham agreed.
Factoring in 27 days of pre-sentence custody – 18 actual days at a rate of 1.5 to one – the pair will serve an additional 63 days. Kent also sought a DNA order, meaning both will have to provide DNA samples to police.
Through tears and via her interpreter, Cucos said she didn’t fully understand what she was getting into when she got involved in the theft. She also said she had left her children, daughters aged 12 and 16, to “care for themselves” while she was on what should have been a short trip to Canada. She works as a bartender in Romania.
Stingaciu said little while he was sentenced. Fawcett noted he works as a cook’s aide in Romania and has a wife and two young children.
Graham said he did not factor potential deportations into his sentencing, though he made each aware the sentence could have immigration consequences. Fawcett said she understood it was likely both would be deported at the conclusion of the criminal proceedings in Canada. Probation would not affect a deportation order, Kent said.
“I am sure your family is anxious to have you home, which will likely be accommodated,” said Graham, hinting at the likely deportation.
Border agents appeared in court Wednesday but did not speak to the case.