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Man jailed for three years for burglaries in Salisbury and across the UK

Alert message sent 10/06/2019 14:34:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

A man has been jailed for three years after pleading guilty to five counts of burglary in Wiltshire and across the country.

We were called to a break-in at Bookers cash and carry, in Harnham, Salisbury, in the early hours of 4 September 2018, where offenders had moved CCTV cameras and used a disc cutter to break through the outside wall.

Once inside they had tried to cut a hole into the cigarette store but were disturbed by an alarm so fled the scene.

Officers arrived and saw a group of men in a Ford Galaxy car driving off, but the occupants ran off, leaving the vehicle behind.

When we searched the car we found forensic evidence, as well as disc cutters, crowbars and other tools.

We also seized a number of phones, which revealed the car had been in the London area, followed by Basingstoke, where a similar offence had occurred at a Bookers Cash and Carry there.

On 25 March 2019, 44-year-old Mihai Apitilisei, of no fixed address, was arrested in Milton Keynes in connection with an attempted break-in at a commercial premises there.

His DNA was a match for the Salisbury burglary, and other offences across the UK.

Apitilisei appeared at Swindon Crown Court last Thursday (6/6/19) and pleaded guilty to five charges of burglary, which related to the following:

- 4 March 2018: Break-in at Stone Computers in Stafford where offenders had cut a large hole in the wall and removed £8,000 worth of computers and caused £6,000 worth of damage.

- 12 July 2018: Break-in at Batleys Cash and Carry in Sheffield where offenders had smashed a hole in the wall and cut the shutter to the cigarette containers stealing £12,000 worth of cigarettes and causing £3,400 worth of damage.

- 3 September 2018: Break-in at Bookers cash and carry in Basingstoke, with damage caused to the value of £1,998 in an attempt to steal cigarettes.

- 4 September 2018: Break-in at Bookers cash and carry in Salisbury, with damage caused to the value £8,349 in attempt to steal cigarettes.

- 10 September 2018: Break-in at Dobbies Garden Centre in Gillingham, Kent, where offenders had cut a hole in the roof and cut open a safe stealing £4,000 and causing of damage worth £3,000.

Apitilisei received a range of consecutive prison sentences, from 15 months to three years and will serve a total of three years in jail.

Det Con Mark Welch, from Wiltshire Police's Community Tasking Team, said: "This was a complex investigation, where we took the lead for all the Forces who'd had offences in their areas.

"Apitilisei was clearly part of a very organised group of offenders who would target commercial premises in the hours of darkness and would go equipped with tools for the job.

"Our enquiries are now ongoing to find the offenders who worked alongside him and make sure they are also brought to justice."
Message sent by
Siobhan Stayt (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)
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