Two men have been jailed after posing as cab drivers and then embarking on a kidnapping and robbing spree.
The two men who kidnapped and robbed passengers in Coventry in November 2017 were both jailed on Thursday 6 June. Whilst they admitted committing the same offences three times inside a seven day period, it is believed that the pair may have committed up to 10 robberies.
Cousins, Vasiele Stoian and Englezo Tanase scoured the centre of Coventry late at night, looking for drunken victims to lure into their vehicle on the premise of offering a cheap ride before robbing them.
On 4 November 2017, the pair picked up one of their victims outside Spon Gate pub and withdrew £300 in cash before making a number of contactless payments at a supermarket.
On 5 November 2017 they lured another victim into their vehicle, a man who’d been drinking in Birmingham. The victim passed out in the vehicle before finding himself being driven around Coventry and his cards were used to rob him of £250 in cash.
Another offence took place on 11 November 2017 when a man got into what he believed to be a taxi in Spon Street, he was subsequently robbed of his bank cards which were then used to make a number of purchases. An investigation by West Midlands Police led to detectives identifying a pattern of offending and they were able to link a Mercedes used in the offences to Stoians address in Stepney Road, Stoke.
On 28 November, officers raided 20 year old Stoin's address and he was arrested. During the raid stolen mobile phones were recovered.
Tanase, who was 17 at the time, was arrested later that same day at his home address in Park Street, Foleshill. Stoin and Tanase initially tried to convince police that the other was responsible for the offences, as well as citing unknown accomplices, however, detectives obtained CCTV showing the two men using stolen bank cards at petrol station forecourts as well as making other purchases and withdrawals at various locations.
Upon pleading guilty at the 11th hour, they were jailed for seven years each.
Image Source: West Midlands Police