Heroic PC recovers Paddington gran’s stolen jewels

A 75-year-old great-grandmother who had �7,500 of jewellery stolen from her Paddington home has had the items returned after a heroic policeman traced them back to a north London pawn shop.

The woman, who does not wish to be named, had a gold necklace and bracelet stolen by a young woman she was employing to help around the house, which is off Hyde Park Crescent. She reported the missing items to police officer Vit D’Orsi, from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team, who arrested the culprit earlier this month and found pawn shop receipts in her purse.

He tracked down the jewellery to a shop in Colindale and recovered both items of jewellery which he promptly returned to the victim the same day.

“I never believed in a million years I would get them back,” said the elated great-grandmother.

A total of �3,660 in cash was also stolen from the woman but the money has never been found.

After her arrest, 23-year-old Alexandra Stoica pleaded guilty to the theft and was given a conditional discharge for 24 months and ordered to repay the money she had taken.

“I never keep money in the house but I had sold some jewellery and wanted to keep the cash safe to save up for a special coat so I tucked it up in the corner of a drawer with junk all over it,” explained the victim.

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“One morning I needed some cash urgently to pay a bill so I went to the drawer and there was very little left. I went to a pot where I keep my necklace and that was gone.

“I didn’t want to accuse her wrongly but I worked out that she was the only person who could have taken it all.”

After calling the SNT, the victim and PC D’Orsi devised a plan to confront and arrest Stoica when she next came to the house to work.

PC D’Orsi said: “The victim hasn’t lost out so it’s very rewarding.”