Trio jailed for their involvement in string of burglaries in Suffolk and Norfolk

From the left, Dainius Gastilavicius,  Arturas Malysovas and Tomas Paulavicius ANL-161008-172757001
From the left, Dainius Gastilavicius, Arturas Malysovas and Tomas Paulavicius ANL-161008-172757001

Three Lithuanian men have been convicted of involvement in a string of house burglaries across Suffolk and Norfolk and jailed for a total of 30 years.

The men, who all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary with others, were today (Tuesday) found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

There were 45 burglaries in Suffolk and Norfolk: 10 in the villages surrounding Bury St Edmunds, eight around Swaffham, four near King’s Lynn, 12 in the area around Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and four near Ipswich and Woodbridge.

Darius Gastilavicius, 39, of west London was sentenced to 10 years; Tomas Paulavicius, 36, of Purfleet to 11 years and Artura Malysovas, 21, of east London to nine years by Judge Martyn Levett.

Judge Levett said the three men will reappear at the same court next month for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing with the aim of recouping as much as possible from their crimes.

Gastilavicius, Paulavicius and Malysovas did not give evidence in their defence during the trial.

The jury heard allegations that the men were part of a professional burglary gang who targeted homes in Suffolk and Norfolk to steal high value items including jewellery and cash and were involved in 45 burglaries.

Prosecutor Jane Oldfield said that while none of the men had been caught red handed and no forensic evidence found at the crime scenes, they were all linked to the burglaries by a “web of interwoven evidence.”

Police accessed mobile phone records, cell data from mobile phone mast operators and information from satnav devices.

The court heard the Suffolk and Norfolk burglaries were committed between August 2014 and March 2015. Miss Oldfield said at all locations were broken into using similar methods with locks removed or snapped off.

In January 2016 they were convicted at Exeter Crown Court with conspiracy to commit over 30 burglaries in Devon and Sussex and jailed for a total of 21 years.

Detective Inspector Andrew Smethurst, one of the lead investigators, said: “These three individuals caused enormous upset to their victims, not only breaking into their homes and stealing irreplaceable possessions, but often causing a significant amount of damage in the process.

“A great deal of police resources went into investigating this series of burglaries and we used all the tools at our disposal to gain the evidence required to charge the offenders, with examination of mobile phones and sat navs key to this.

“I am pleased with the sentences handed down by the court which reflect the huge impact these men had on the lives of such a large number of victims and I hope their conviction is able to offer some comfort to those who have suffered these invasive crimes.”