Police at Liverpool Airport stop burglar trying to flee country

A criminal was caught attempting to flee the country after carelessly leaving telltale DNA traces at the scenes of a burglary. Zabar Ciuraru, 33, was hoping to catch a flight from Liverpool Airport to Romania, when he was arrested by police. He was involved in a large criminal operation targeting scrap dealers and stealing high-value metal.

Ciuraru admitted two offences of burglary and another of attempted burglary and asked for another burglary to be considered, reports Grimsby Live. A court heard, he and others broke into a Lincolnshire compound after smashing holes in the warehouse walls but he carelessly left DNA traces behind on a glove and cigarettes.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court: "He was a small cog in a much bigger wheel, which was a sophisticated operation for burglary and theft of high-value metal." On September 15, Ciuraru and others targeted Clee Metals Ltd, on the Wilton Road industrial estate in Humberston, which dealt in copper, brass and lead.

A heavy object was used to smash holes in the warehouse walls to climb in and open the shutters from the inside. Once inside the premises, the men, including Ciuraru, spent several hours sorting through high-value metal and selecting those that could be sold.

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A truck was parked outside and items valued at GBP20,000 were stolen. Mr Evans said: "A gap in the metal fence was made.

"The lorry was loaded with metal and the suspects left." Ciuraru's DNA was found on a glove. Extra security was fitted at the premises but on October 20, cameras picked up people inside the compound and police were alerted.

The suspects were disturbed and made off but Ciuraru's DNA was found on a cigarette at the point of entry. In a third incident, Ciuraru was part of a gang that raided Multi Crete Products in Haslingden, Lancashire, on November 15. A works van was broken into and metal and tools, valued at GBP3,000, were stolen.

Ciuraru was identified from DNA on a cigarette. He was arrested on December 10 at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport, while trying to leave the country for Romania. Mr Evans said: "In both cases, there has been a financial impact that placed the businesses in jeopardy."

Ciuraru had convictions for 35 previous offences, most of them for dishonesty, including at a scrap yard in Middlesbrough.

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He was in breach of a 12-week suspended prison sentence imposed on October 7 by Cleveland magistrates for burglary. Lauren Fisher, mitigating, said that Ciuraru was part of a much bigger operation. He had been in custody since December 12 and had shown some awareness of the impact on the victims.

Judge Ahmed Nadim told Ciuraru: "You must have had ready and available customers for the stolen property."

Ciuraru, of Blackburn, Lancashire, was jailed for four years and 12 weeks.

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