Trio Charged with Grand Theft After Fleeing from Deputies

NEWS RELEASE 20-063 - APRIL 23, 2020
Mazilu, Christina       Mazilu, Ion       Codreanu, Stephan
  Christina Mazilu                                                           Ion Mazilu                                                         Stephan Codreanu
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people in connection with the theft of nearly $8,000 in merchandise from a Sarasota retailer.
On Thursday, Tactical Unit deputies were alerted by loss prevention personnel just before 5:30 p.m. that a man and woman left without paying for a cart full of circuit breakers valued at $7,686. Personnel also directed deputies to a third person believed to be waiting in a green van in the parking lot. When deputies approached the shoppers, the man and woman fled on foot, and the van was seen driving away from the scene. Deputies quickly took two of the suspects into custody, later identifying them as Christina Mazilu, DOB 11/19/98, and Ion Mazilu, DOB 03/12/00. With support from Patrol deputies and the agency’s Aviation Unit, the van driven by Stephan Codreanu, DOB 04/27/94, was quickly located near Webber Street and Indianwood Place. Codreanu led deputies on a short pursuit before being taken into custody along Cattlemen Road. A toddler was found inside the van without proper safety restraints but was otherwise unharmed during the incident. The stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to the store, where management opted into Marsy’s Law for their own privacy.

“We are extremely proud of the strong partnerships we have with the retail community throughout Sarasota County,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “This is just one example of how our collaborative approach to preventing retail theft gets criminals off the streets and out of our communities.”

Christina and Ion Mazilu, both of Hollywood, Florida, are each charged with Grand Theft and Resisting Arrest. Ion Mazilu faces an additional charge of Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement. Codreanu, of Baltimore, Maryland, is charged with Grand Theft, Fleeing to Elude, Child Endangerment and Driving Without a Valid License. All three suspects remain in custody today at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility while the investigation continues.