Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sloane Shoplifter Sentenced For Thieving From High-End Stores

A high-end shoplifter, who donned a fur coat to blend into her exclusive surroundings as she swiped valuable jewellery from stores near her £2m Sloane Street apartment, has been sentenced.

Privately-educated housewife Jutta Curatolo, 52, of Grosvenor Court targeted Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Dolce & Gabbana and Basia Zarzycka.

The San Francisco native, who attended the city's Catholic St. Mary's College would specifically select gold and diamond jewellery for closer inspection before stealing it.

The mother-of-two, who lives with her 49 year-old husband pleaded guilty to stealing a £2,450 pattern ring with blue stone from Dolce & Gabbana's Sloane Street store on November 17, last year.

She also admitted stealing a Marco Bicego silver and gold ring, worth £2,260 from Harvey Nichols and Co, Knightsbridge on November 28.

Curatolo further admitted stealing a 'Dusty Diamonds' 18ct gold bangle, with 23 grey diamonds, worth £4,200 from Liberty's in the West End on January 7, this year.

Curatolo also pleaded guilty to stealing a £500 pearl tiara and a pearl necklace with antique silver cross, worth £800 from Sloane Square's Basia Zarzycka.

She was fined £250 on each count of theft and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge when she appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court.

The magistrates heard long-term alcoholic Curatolo is currently attending AA meetings daily and a private psychotherapist weekly.

Prosecutor Miss Aislinn Rice told the court first-time offender Curatolo walked into Dole & Gabbana at 2.19pm and asked to see the ring.

"A staff member took it out and once their back was turned the defendant concealed it in her hand and dropped it into the pocket of her fur coat then tells staff she needs to pick-up her children."

She struck at Harvey Nichols - which has since banned her - at 4.16pm. "She placed a large soft toy on the counter and asked staff about a ring.

"She placed it on her right hand and while staff were away for thirty seconds she picked-up the stuffed toy with the ring still on her hand and left.

"Staff pressed the alarm, but the defendant had already left."

Curatolo - who has a background in design - denies the cuddly toy was a blocking tactic, insisting she innocently bought it earlier at a Winter Wonderland fair.

At 12.45pm she visited Liberty, near Oxford Circus and asked to see various items. "She attempted to conceal two pieces in her hand and was asked for them back, but staff had not noticed a third piece."

Curatolo learned police were onto her and gave herself up at Notting Hill Police Station, where she confessed to the fourth theft.

All the jewellery was returned, bar the Harvey Nichols ring, which the defendant then paid for.

"She said she suffers from alcoholism, depression, anxiety and is bipolar and suffers blackouts and commits offences while drunk," explained Miss Rice.

"She said she was embarrassed for what she had done and sometimes remembers and sometimes has no recollection.

"She said she did not know why she took them and did not always like the items.

"The crown say there is an element of planning and distraction techniques, like the cuddly toy and she waits for staff to be distracted and targets high-value items."

Her lawyer Miss Ranjeet Dulay told the court: "This is a drunken lady, who at the time committed offences that were compulsive on her part. She's been an alcoholic for years.

“There was not a significant degree of planning. In these moments she was very drunk.

"The defendant is genuinely remorseful  and this lady has sought to address the reasons why she is here today, she has a troubled history with a history of mental health issues."

Curatolo has a son aged twenty-one and a twelve year-old daughter and her relationship with them is strained by her problems, the court heard.

The lawyer also talked of a "failing marriage" and "eating disorders" and near-fatal skin condition contributing to her client's situation.

She receives a disability allowance from the USA as a result of being prescribed incorrect medication and her husband takes care of all the bills.

"She has no intention of finding herself in trouble again and she has not been back to any of these places to commit offences."

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