Two Romanian women who were jailed for a series of purse-dipping offences are set to be deported.

Viorica Calescu, 44, and Simona-Carmen Barabas, 42, both of Chester Close, Luton, were arrested for a number of pickpocketing offences in Watford, St Albans and Harpenden during February and March this year. 

Earlier this year, Calescu was sentenced to 58 weeks imprisonment while Barabas was sentenced to 40 weeks. They were both also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

They were jointly charged with stealing a purse from underneath a pushchair in St Albans, stealing a purse from a coat in Harpenden, stealing a purse in Poundland in Watford High Street, and stealing a £400 mobile phone from a woman’s pocket in M&S, also in Watford High Street.

Calescu was additionally charged with stealing a purse from a woman in St Albans and handling stolen goods in relation to receiving a stolen bank card.

Following their conviction both women, who are from Romania, are due to be deported.

Barabas is due to leave the UK in June while Calescu will be deported in July.

The decision to deport them was made by the Home Office after officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary carried out checks with international partners that revealed that the women had a history of prolific offending overseas.

PC Shaun Woods, from the St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Due to their overseas offending and their convictions here in the UK these women have lost their right to live here.

“As with domestic criminals, when foreign nationals are arrested and convicted we carry out comprehensive checks to expose any previous offending that has occurred, including overseas. If these convictions reach a certain threshold we make a referral to the Home Office for deportation as the offender’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the greater good of the public, and often, public safety. 

“This case shows how criminality can have far reaching consequences, as not only were these women arrested and put behind bars but they now have to leave the country and return to their native Romania.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary always carries out checks on foreign nationals who have been arrested and convicted of crimes in this country and, where appropriate, we will apply to have criminals removed from the UK.”