A THIEF has been jailed for stealing three poppy collection tins on Remembrance Sunday.

Iulia Olteanu, 31, who was finally caught following an appeal in the Echo, has been sentenced to 84 days in prison.

She had been operating with another man, believed to be Liviu Ghitoi, who is still wanted by police.

Within the space of one hour and 15 minutes thefts were committed at three shops in Rochford and Hockley, on November 11 last year.

The Costcutter in Main Road, Hockley, was first hit at 1.20pm after the cashier was distracted by a man, believed to be Ghitoi, 22, who came into the store.

The next theft happened at about 2pm at the Spar in West Street, Rochord, and then finally at Sanders food and wine shop, Ashingdon Road, Rochford, at 2.30pm.

Olteanu of Fanshawe Avenue, Barking, appeared before Southend Magistrates Court where she pleaded guilty to three counts of theft. She also admitted failing to answer bail on December 28.

Peter Wood, owner of Costcutter, in Hockley, said it was “fantastic news” she had been caught.

Essex Police are still hunting for Liviu Ghitoi whose last known address was in Barking, East London.