Published: 13:35, 09 July 2020
| Updated: 14:45, 13 July 2020
A burglar who left a trail of DNA evidence – including a straw after helping himself to a drink – after a spate of break-ins across Kent has been locked up.
Celal Ofori was connected to incidents at three businesses in Rochester and another in Folkestone during an 18-month period.
His first crime saw him bust inside a cafe in Cheriton Road, Folkestone on February 8, 2019 stealing a sound system, cash and a drink from the fridge.
But a straw discarded in the cafe from a drinks carton later provided a DNA profile match for the 46-year-old, of Chestnut Road, Strood.
Ofori then broke into a shop in Laker Road, Rochester on March 18, 2019 as he stole a safe which contained cash and a mobile phone.
Again, evidence left at the scene – this time an axe – recovered by police was found to have Ofori's DNA on it.
The prolific thief was connected to two further crimes earlier this year after police found his DNA on a sledgehammer and pickaxe after a failed attempt to force open the cash machine at the Asda store in Strood town centre on February 3.
No cash was taken during the attempt.
Less than 24 hours later, £400 cash and £800 worth of gift vouchers were taken from a safe at a business in Sir Thomas Longley Road on the Medway City Estate.
Ofori left his fingerprints in the hallway and was identified as the culprit.
He was arrested on May 21 and charged with four counts of burglary and remanded in custody.
He was jailed for three years after pleading guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday (July 3) and also breaching a previous suspended sentence.
Det Con Alex Peacock from the Kent Police Chief Constable's Crime Squad described Ofori as a "serial offender" with no regard for the impact of his actions on his victims.
He added: "Burglary is a serious crime that significantly affects the victims, whether they suffer a break-in at their home address or a business. There is no such thing as a victimless crime.
"Serial offenders such as Ofori have little concept of the impact their actions have on businesses and hardworking shop owners, those who have lost cash and property and who often end up footing the bill to pay for any damage caused."
More by this authorMatt Leclere
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