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Off-duty officers thwart £20,000 mobile phone theft at Tesco superstore

Last week three off-duty police officers helped to foil a substantial theft at the Tesco superstore in Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill. The officers were shopping on the afternoon of 17 May when they stumbled upon an attempted theft of mobile phones valued at approximately £20,000.

The three officers, along with staff members and members of the public, sprang into action and managed to successfully detain the three suspects on the scene, preventing a significant loss for the superstore. However, several individuals reported being assaulted during the incident.

Sussex Police were called to the scene where they arrested and later charged the trio with attempted robbery.

The accused thieves appeared before Crawley Magistrates’ Court just two days later on 19 May. Two of the accused, Valetin Bocan, 23, of no fixed address, and Mario Ilie, 18, of Saint Awdrys Road, Barking, were remanded in custody.

The third defendant, a 16-year-old boy from Ilford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released on conditional bail until 16 June.

The case has since been referred to Lewes Crown Court, where a plea and direction hearing has been scheduled for 16 June.

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