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Marius Balan jailed for raiding The Paddle in Highcliffe and the Beach Hut Café at Friars Cliff

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A BURGLAR who raided two cafés in the Christchurch area has been jailed after being caught nearly a year later through DNA evidence.

Marius Balan (28), from Burton-on-Trent, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court to 40 weeks in prison after admitting two offences.

The first burglary was at The Paddle in Waterford Road, Highcliffe, between 24th and 26th March last year, when he took a till tray containing cash.

Marius Balan raided cafes in Highcliffe and Christchurch
Marius Balan raided cafes in Highcliffe and Christchurch

He also made off with a small safe, a number of bottles of spirits, a laptop, a camera and two speakers.

In the same week, on 29th March, he also broke into the Beach Hut Café at Friars Cliff. Two tills were taken and an attempt was made to remove a coffee machine.

Balan was linked to the offences through DNA found following a forensic examination of the crime scene at The Paddle, plus CCTV from the Beach Hut Café.

Following police enquiries, Balan was arrested in the Staffordshire area in March this year – about 12 months after the offences.

PC Liam Moss, of Dorset Police’s priority crime team, said: “We fully recognise the impact offences such as these have on our local businesses and we are committed to doing all we can to identify those responsible.

“I am pleased that through our investigation we were able to identify Balan as being involved in these crimes so he could face justice before the court.”

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