A man has been jailed after forensic evidence linked him to the scene of a burglary in Sandwell last year.

Ionut Dobre, aged 31 broke in to a property in Smethwick by smashing a window on 2 March in broad daylight, just after 3pm.

Items such as cash, clothes, iPads, cigarettes and jewellery were stolen from the property amounting to the value of more than £10,000.

Forensic officers attended the address and swabs were taken of blood left on a shard of glass from the smashed window. The swabs were analysed and DNA matched to Dobre.

After attempting to evade police, Dobre was then arrested at Luton Airport last December after arriving back in the country. He was subsequently charged with burglary and remanded in custody.

Ionut Dobre has been jailed for burglary offences in Sandwell WMP
Ionut Dobre, 31, has been jailed for burglary offences in Sandwell

Dobre of no fixed abode appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday (24 Jan) and was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

DI Phil Griffiths from Sandwell Police said: “Dobre committed a very serious offence and stole valuable items from an innocent member of the public.

“He then tried to abscond from police but we caught up with him.

“No one should feel unsafe in their home and we are doing all we can to bring offenders to justice.”

In a police statement, the force added: “Tackling residential burglary remains a priority for West Midlands Police, with regular patrols and disruption activity carried out daily by our teams.”

How to protect your home

Officers are urging members of the public to take these cautionary steps to protect their homes and possessions from criminals:

  • Burglars look for homes that appear to be empty or have easy access to the back of the building. Make it look like someone is at home by putting lights on a timer and leaving the radio on. Remember to keep any side gates or entrances locked when not in use.
  • Keep valuables such as phones, wallets and keys out of sight and reach of windows and doors. You can also close blinds or curtains to prevent prying eyes from scouting out your belongings.
  • Install motion-activated lights and a house alarm to help deter thieves.
  • Keep your windows and doors locked even when you’re in.
  • Make sure you don’t keep your wheelie bin by a low roof or garden fence – burglars can use these to climb into your garden or property.
  • Store jewellery and other valuables in a safety deposit box – your insurer can provide suitable advice. If you prefer to keep jewellery at home, invest in a safe that is installed to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Consider storing your safe or valuables in places that will be harder for burglars to find – bedrooms are often the first place a burglar will look for items such as jewellery and family gold, so think about keeping your valuables in different rooms of the house.

Find out more about reporting residential burglaries and gain more advice for securing your home, visit the West Midlands Polcie website here. 

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