TWO brothers were each given conditional discharges for stealing an aluminium porch frame and a microwave with a combined value of £25.
Iulian Stanescu, aged 30, and Florin Stanescu, 22, both from Hansworth, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to the charges of theft by finding when they appeared at Welshpool Magistrates on Tuesday.
Iulian also faced a charge of acting as a scrap dealer without a licence and an application was made by police to deprive him of his van, used in the theft.
An interpreter translated for the court as the brothers spoke Romanian.
Helen Tench, prosecuting, said: “Victoria Davies was at home when she heard a loud noise. On looking outside she saw a van parked across her driveway. It drove off and she took down its number.”
Ms Tench told the court that Ms Davies then contacted the police who stopped the van, being driven by Iulian Stanescu with Florin Stanescu as a passenger.
The aluminium frame valued at £20 and a microwave valued at £5 were found in the vehicle.
In interview, Iulian said they had driven to the area to purchase a van and they had taken the metal as his brother had a licence to deal with scrap metal.
Ms Tench also said that Iulian had claimed the microwave was taken from the same street.
She added that in interview, Florin had said no-one answered the door of the property he thought the metal belonged to when he knocked, so he took it.
In a personal statement read out by Ms Tench, Ms Davies said: “This sort of low level crime happens too often and when people are caught, they are not sufficiently penalised.”
Ms Davies had also said she felt like her home had been violated and that her home was being watched.
Paul Inns, defending, said: “The brothers’ brother (who holds a scrap metal dealer licence) knew they were travelling in to Powys and asked if they could have a look about to see if there was any scrap for further reference as he was contemplating securing a licence in Powys.
“It wasn’t their main intention to collect scrap.”
Mr Inns added that the vehicle was worth £3,400 and Iulian used the van for work, so it would be disproportionate and unreasonable to take it from him.
Magistrates gave Florin Stanescu a 12 month conditional discharge and Iulian Stanescu a two year conditional discharge.
Each of them had to pay £85 costs and a £20 surcharge, Magistrates also decided not to deprive Iulian of his vehicle.
See full story in the County Times