TWO men have been jailed after stealing more than £1,200 worth of alcohol from a Salisbury supermarket.

Marian Stoica, aged 31, from Hounslow, and Vasile Neamtu, aged 36, from Coventry, were both sentenced to six-and-a-half months in prison after the shoplifting incident on September 2 last year.

Warrants have also been issued for two other defendants, Ziad Ell-Abboud and Luigi Dutu, who have been charged with the same offences but failed to appear at court.

The group had stolen £1,272 worth of alcohol from Sainsbury's, the Maltings.

On the morning of the offence Wiltshire Police was alerted to a black Ford Mondeo, which was known to have links to high-value shoplifting offences in other areas.

Officers wearing plain clothes followed the car on the A30 London Road and watched it park in the central car park, before the group of four split up and walked into Sainsbury’s separately.

When they returned to the car the stolen items were seized and all four were arrested.

Stoica and Hounslow pleaded guilty and appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court for sentencing today.

PC Emma Fisher, from Community Tasking Team South, said: “These high-value shoplifting offences, which very often involve organised groups of criminals coming into Wiltshire from elsewhere in the country to target supermarkets and other businesses, cause disruption, inconvenience and financial harm to our local businesses.

“I hope this sentence shows that we will be proactive in targeting these gangs and will hopefully deter them from coming to our county and committing crimes here.”