Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Bumbling burglar snared by Apple AirTag hidden in stolen suitcase

A serial burglar who stole more than £800,000 worth of gear during “sophisticated” break-ins all over the UK was finally snared by an electronic tag in stolen luggage.

Mari Dinjaku, 38, was traced to his home in Wokingham, Berkshire, by an Apple AirTag left in the distinct lime green suitcase that had been snatched during a burglary 15 miles away.

Clothing and jewellery were also taken in the raid in Woking, Surrey, after the back door was forced.

When officers arrested Dinjaku at his home after tracing the tag, stolen designer clothing, handbags and high value jewellery were found.

A search of the house uncovered a set of walkie-talkies docked in the utility room as well as false documents, a large amount of cash in several currencies, gloves, face coverings and 15 mobile phones.

One of the phones, which was forensically linked to Dinjaku, was in the Woking area at the time of the burglary.

Dinjaku was also forensically linked to two cars found near his home address, both of which had cloned number plates.

One of them was linked to a second burglary in Farnham, Surrey, last December in which more than £350,000 of items were taken, including a car and two safes containing jewellery.

Some of those items were later recovered at Dinjaku’s Wokingham address.

Shortly before the Farnham burglary, a neighbour had noticed a car acting suspiciously in the area and took a video of it.

The distinctive marking on its side matched that of one of the two vehicles recovered in Wokingham.

A walkie-talkie was also found at the address in Farnham. It was the same make and model as the set found at Dinjaku’s Wokingham address – which was missing a single handset.

Dinjaku was also linked to two further burglaries in Limpsfield, Surrey, and Manchester.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary between March 2022 and January 2023

Dinkaju pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in jail at Guildford Crown Court.

During sentencing, the Judge highlighted the “sophisticated” nature of the offences and their financial and psychological impact on the victims.

The overall estimated loss from the three burglaries is believed to be more than £800,000, the court heard.

Investigating officer PC Tom Hinch, of Surrey Police, said: “Mari Dinjaku caused significant distress and financial loss to the victims he burgled.

“These were serious offences, committed with significant planning and a disregard for the impact that breaking into somebody’s home can have.

“He has rightly been given a significant custodial sentence.”

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