A MOTHER and daughter had just flown into Ireland on a visit hours before they went out and "stalked" a shopper in a city centre store, stealing her purse.
Mariyana Dasheva (26) and her mother Totka Chokoeva (45) got into difficulty when their suitcase went missing from the flight from Rome, Dublin District Court heard.
They went to the city centre to buy shoes that day and stole from the woman.
When caught, they "manufactured" an explanation that they had seen it on the ground and thought it was new.
Judge John O'Neill described it as a "mean, horrible offence" and fined them €450 each.
Both women, Bulgarian nationals of no fixed address here, pleaded guilty to stealing the woman's wallet and contents worth €500 at Debenham's, Henry Street on August 12.
The court heard they arrived in Dublin the day before, August 12.
They went to the store in the city centre and followed the victim around, watching her until they were able to take her purse from her handbag.
They then tried to leave the store but gardai caught them in possession of the purse and the property was recovered.
The pair had €900 in cash when arrested and this was seized by gardai.
Neither had any previous convictions.
Dasheva's partner came to Ireland to work and the defendant had come here to meet him, defence solicitor Paul Hannon said.
When Chokoeva's luggage did not arrive, they found themselves in "slightly difficult circumstances", went shopping for shoes and took the wallet in an "opportunistic" crime.
"It was a foolish thing to do," Mr Hannon said.
Dasheva's partner had now left the country. Dasheva worked in a pizza shop and her mother was a factory employee.
It was their first time in Ireland.
"They know it was wrong," Mr Hannon said. "It is a horrible crime and they acknowledge that."
Judge O'Neill said it was a "deliberate, concerted, premeditated and horrible offence by these people to target a lady in the shopping centre, to stalk her and take her purse".
"Both individuals went into the shop with a view to taking or stealing something from somebody."
The judge also said the defendants would have got away with it if gardai had not been present.