Ivalina Hristova, 34, picked on elderly women with open handbags in shops
Ivalina Hristova, 34, picked on elderly women with open handbags in shops such as Waitrose, Wilkinsons and Iceland.
Each of her 14 victims was aged over 70 except one, who was a 44-year-old blind woman.
The 102-year-old who had her purse pinched lived through two world wars and this was the first crime she had fallen victim to, a court heard.
The “heartless” immigrant's spate of crimes were carried out in the Dorset towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Weymouth between August last year and January.
The court heard how the mother-of-two would pretend to browse for goods, bump into her victim and simultaneously take her purse or bag.
A number of the incidents were captured on CCTV and she was eventually arrested at Stansted Airport in February after returning to the UK from Bulgaria. In total she pocketed £1,050 from her spate of thefts.
The Bulgarian pickpocket made over £1,000 in a spree where she targeted 14 vulnerable women
Her run, which saw her pocket , came to an end in January when she committed five thefts in one day and was caught.
Hristova systematically targeted elderly women with cold, brutal efficiency
Inspector Steve Houston
Hristova was this week jailed for 20 months at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting her crimes.
Sentencing the pickpocket, Judge Brian Forster told her: "It is clear to me that you travelled to this area to steal. You targeted elderly and vulnerable victims. Easy targets."
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Dubbing her crimes "heartless" the judge added: "The lady, who was 102 at the time, describes how she has lived through two world wars and has not ever been a victim of crime."
Hristova was this week jailed for 20 months at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting her crimes
Robert Grey, defending, said Hristova had come to the UK to send money back to her children, aged 10 and 15, in Bulgaria and claimed she targeted open handbags rather than elderly people specifically.
Mr Grey said: "She comes to the UK, she tells me, to work to repatriate money back to Bulgaria where she has two children.
"She had a number of jobs, working as a kitchen assistant, a cleaner, a food preparation worker and she has never had benefits in the UK.
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Bournemouth Crown Court where the pickpocket preyed on vulnerable people
"She is ashamed and sorry for what she did. She may have been in thrall to a greater or lesser extent with this male she was with. She wants to return as soon as possible to Bulgaria to see her children."
After the hearing, Inspector Steve Houston, of Dorset police, said: "Hristova engaged in a campaign of purse thefts across the county, systematically targeting elderly women with cold, brutal efficiency and showed no remorse for her actions.
"So confident and well-disciplined was she in her methods, she would target multiple stores and victims in one area within a short space of time."
Hristova admitted 14 counts of theft and one of fraud by false representation.