A thief who stole designer clothes worth thousands and boasted ‘a haircut is better than any therapist’ was caught out trying to shoplift sunglasses in Tesco.
Dragos Patrunjel, 23, from Swindon, grew up in Italy where he acquired a taste for dressing well, according to his defence solicitor.
When police raided his home they found piles of designer garments which he had stolen, including worth £1,100 from Hugo Boss.
Dragos Patrunjel, 23, (pictured in undated social media photos) grew up in Italy where he acquired a taste for dressing well, according to his defence solicitor
When security staff discovered Patrunjel (pic by the Ponte Vechhio in Florence) had a device used to remove security tags from clothes, police raided his home
He also thieved items worth £300 from Tommy Hilfiger, £160 from Calvin Klein, £130 from H&M, £100 from Gant and £60 from Armani.
The defendant’s crime spree came to a halt after he was caught shoplifting sunglasses from a Tesco supermarket.
When security staff discovered he had a device used to remove security tags from clothes, police raided his home and discovered hoards of clothes.
Prosecutor Pauline Lambert said: ‘Police were called to Tesco because security had detained a shoplifter.
‘They found that he had a de-tagging device on him and when they went to his home address to search the property, they found a large amount of clothing tags.
‘In interview, he said he bought the device off eBay after watching a video online.
The defendant (pic in an undated photo) was nabbed after he was caught shoplifting in a Tesco supermarket for stealing sunglasses
‘He admitted to further thefts and all the stolen items were gathered together and recovered.’
Patrunjel admitted seven charges of theft when he appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court on January 31.
He wore a camel-coloured coat, and dark trousers for the court appearance.
Twitter users have dubbed him ‘Britain’s best-dressed thief’.
On his Facebook page, Patrunjel wrote: ‘Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself.’
Another post said: ‘I do think that you can dress yourself out of a problem.
‘The way that a haircut and a new pair of pants can make you feel is better than any therapist, because when you look in the mirror, you see a different person – you are a different person. It’s superficial change that can lead to real change.’
Patrunjel (undated social media photo) admitted seven charges of theft when he appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court on January 31
Defending the fashionista,(pictured) Ben Worthington said: ‘He saw a video on YouTube showing how items could be de-tagged and greed got the best of him’
Defending the fashionista, Ben Worthington said: ‘He saw a video on YouTube showing how items could be de-tagged and greed got the best of him.
‘He tried to get himself some nice clothes but didn’t have the money to afford them.
‘He grew up in Italy and I daresay that’s rubbed off on him a bit – as you can see today, he’s quite well-dressed.
‘He regrets what happened and wants to put the situation behind him.’
Patrunjel was told he must carry out must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work over the year, and must also pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge
Mr Worthington said Patrunjel (pictured) ‘regrets what happened and wants to put the situation behind him’
A probation officer told the court: ‘He said he’s incredibly ashamed, he doesn’t know what he was thinking, it was a stupid, ridiculous mistake, and it wasn’t worth it.
‘He considers himself a good person and he said he likes to dress nicely.’
The clothes were returned to the McArthurGlen designer outlet in Swindon, so Patrunjel did not have to pay compensation.
Patrunjel was told he must carry out must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work over the year, and must also pay £85 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.