6th Jul, 2022

Doorstep thief who sexually assaulted victims in Coventry jailed

John Carlon 22nd Jan, 2020

A BOGUS charity collector who sexually assaulted Coventry residents has been jailed after an international manhunt.

Vaseli Baicu assaulted five women aged from 18 to 81 in July 2018. having knocked at their doors in Coventry with a clipboard claiming to be fundraising for a disability group.

The 26-year-old forced himself on victims, kissing them on the lips and touching them inappropriately over their clothing.

On two occasions he entered homes and swiped a phone, purse, jewellery and a pension card when his victims’ backs were turned.

Police in Denmark arrested Baicu as he tried to enter the country from Sweden, triggering a wanted alert.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued by Coventry Police, with Interpol tracking his movements across Europe for a year.

In court, Baicu admitted five counts of sexual assault, two counts of burglary and fraud between July 2 and 21.

Speaking after Baicu was jailed for six years and three months at Leamington Combined Courts on January 21, Detective Constable Mel Oldershaw said: “This was a really complex investigation and turned into a ‘Catch me if you Can’ police hunt as we monitored his movements in Europe.

“[Baicu] managed to evade capture and we suspect passed through some border checkpoints undetected.

“But when police in Denmark alerted us when he tried entering the country from Sweden he was arrested and returned to the UK to face justice.

“He committed some really awful offences, at times targeting elderly women, and we were determined he wouldn’t get away.”

Coventry Police established Baicu as their prime suspect after security footage showed him using the same vehicle to drive to the victims’ houses.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “We found he’d fled the country at some point before July 25 but working with Interpol managed to track his movements around Europe for more than a year while the investigation continued at home.

“He triggered an alert after crossing the Swedish-Danish border. Officers from Coventry Police travelled to Denmark to escort him back to the UK on 19 November last year.

“Forensics specialists recovered Baicu’s fingerprints from a jewellery box and a charity sponsorship form he’d dropped in the street.”

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