Dog mess trainer print linked Christmas present burglar to crimes
- Credit: Norfolk Police
A trainer print in dog mess was the clue which linked a Christmas present burglar to his crimes.
Tomas Rulinskas, of Chester Way, Thetford, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, February 28, where he was sentenced to two years and two months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
The 37-year-old who burgled homes around the Abbey Estate, admitted targeting houses in Durham Way, Fairfields and Winchester Way, while homeowners were still inside between December 12 and 31.
In addition, eight burglaries on the Abbey Estate and one attempted burglary at a property in Waterloo Close, Thetford, were also taken into account.
Rulinskas was caught after police found a distinctive trainer pattern imprinted in dog's mess at a crime scene, the court heard.
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Officers also linked stolen items, including high-value Christmas presents like Ipads, taken from two of the properties to the contents of bins found at Rulinskas' address.
Distinctive hexagonal footprints from his trainers were also found at two properties, one embossed in dog's mess.
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Rulinskas was initially arrested on January 2 after officers saw him behaving suspiciously with another man on the Abbey Estate.
Police suspected they had witnessed a drug deal between the pair and Rulinskas was searched and found in possession of white powder, which was tested and suggested the presence of amphetamine.
They walked to Rulinskas' home address with him to pick up his identification and carry out police record checks when officers recognised he matched the description of a suspect in a recent spate of burglaries.
The coat he was wearing matched CCTV footage from a burglary and a rucksack at his property also matched the bag used in a recent burglary.
I-pads, a Nokia phone and gift cards given for Christmas, some which featured names of the grandchildren of one of the victims, were among the items discovered in a black and green bin and suitcase full of property at Rulinskas' address.
Det Con Mark Tate, from Thetford Police Station, said: "Burglary is a very intrusive crime and particularly distressing for families at Christmas time.
"We are committed to investigating these crimes and our forensic work helped to secure successful conviction of a prolific burglar in this case."