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Gang member faces prison for £34k St Andrews bottle shop raid

The gang targeted Luvians Bottle Shop in St Andrews

More than £34,000 of alcohol was stolen by a criminal gang that raided a prestigious Fife shop.

The masked crooks ripped the security alarm from the wall of Luvians Bottle Shop before making off with bags of high-priced booze.

Only one of the thieves, Andrei-Gregore Zaboloteanu, was snared by police for his part in the break-in.

The 33-year-old has now been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing after he pled guilty to stealing the alcohol from the shop on Market Street, St Andrews, on May 24 last year.

Botched reverse parking caught on CCTV

Luvians specialises in high quality whiskies, wines and spirits and Dundee Sheriff Court was told how the brand has won several awards.

It was revealed how Zaboloteanu, a Romanian national, was traced back to his home in Luton after CCTV footage managed to pick up his Mercedes van that was used as a getaway vehicle.

Luvians owner Vince Fusaro.
Luvians owner Vince Fusaro.

The camera caught Zaboloteanu’s botched attempts at reverse parking the van outside the shop entrance.

Prosecutor Stewart Duncan said: “At around 7pm on May 23, business concluded for the day and the manager left the premises.

“The alarm was set before leaving.

“At 11.10am the next day, the witness returned to the locus and immediately realised the front door was ajar.

“Numerous shelves were empty of alcohol that had been there the previous evening.

“The witness found the alarm had been ripped from the wall and was lying on the shop floor.”

Tracked to home in Luton

Police attended and viewed the CCTV, which showed other men helping Zaboloteanu park the van.

Zaboloteanu then got out of the driver’s seat and assisted his accomplices in “carrying and dragging” large bags of stolen alcohol.

CCTV showed Zaboloteanu’s botched attempts to park on Market Street.

The video footage showed Zaboloteanu driving the van away while the remaining thieves ran along South Street and off-camera.

Detectives from Tayside, assisted by officers from Bedfordshire, managed to track Zaboloteanu to his home on Downs Road, Luton.

A search warrant was executed and bottles of alcohol worth £836.99 were recovered.

After being cautioned and charged, Zaboloteanu replied: “No, it’s not true.”

Prison warning

However, at court, Zaboloteanu pled guilty to breaking into Luvians and stealing £34,080.96 worth of alcohol on May 24 last year.

Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC deferred sentence on Zaboloteanu for a social work report to be prepared.

She said: “It’s a serious offence and one that I have no doubt in my mind justifies you being sent to jail for a significant period.”

Zaboloteanu was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing next month.

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