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Two burglars who targeted jewellery at homes in north and west Kent have begun their prison sentences

Gabriel Zaharia, Gheorghe Ciobotaru, and Valentin Ciobotaru drove to Sevenoaks in a silver Mercedes and forced a window open at a house on Hillydeal Road on February 5, 2022. They left the scene empty-handed after a sloppy search.

They targeted two addresses in Shoreham Lane, Sevenoaks, one in Leyton Cross Road, Dartford, and another in Summerhouse Drive, Bexley on the same day. They stole jewellery after conducting disorderly searches of the premises.

Arrests Detectives from the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad examined nearby CCTV footage and identified the vehicle used by the offenders. On 9 February, they arrested all three people in the Mercedes as they drove through Ilford, Greater London.

The investigation also revealed that the suspects were responsible for two burglaries on February 4 in Loughton, Essex, at Garden Way and Spring Grove.

The three men, who had no fixed address, were later charged with six burglaries and pleaded guilty on March 17 at Maidstone Crown Court.

Sentenced
Gabriel Zaharia, 30, and Valentin Ciobotaru, 34, were sentenced to five years and three months in prison on July 28.

Gheorghe Ciobotaru, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 7.

‘This criminal gang travelled between Kent and Essex leaving a trail of destruction as they forced their way into houses and searched for jewellery,’ said Detective Constable Dan Bister.

They had no regard for the impact their callous actions would have on the victims, some of whom lost sentimental jewellery. While two of the criminals begin serving their prison sentences and the third remains remanded in custody, Kent and Essex will be much safer places.’