A 'professional' Albanian burglar who tried to leave the UK with his loot including items taken in a raid in Malvern has been jailed.

Arkand Pitarka was caught at Luton Airport as he tried to flee the UK, his final burglary taking place in Malvern on November 3 last year.

Pitarka used a flat roof extension to gain entry through a first floor window, leaving his DNA on the glass. The items stolen included a significant amount of jewellery.

Malvern Gazette: JAILED: Arkand Pitarka who carried out a burglary in Malvern JAILED: Arkand Pitarka who carried out a burglary in Malvern (Image: Police handout)

Now he has been jailed for six years for a £110,000 crime spree at five homes in affluent areas of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Essex.

The 34-year-old had almost £5,009 in cash as well as a 'substantial amount of jewellery' with him when he was arrested on December 12, 2023, Gloucester Crown Court heard last Friday (March 8).

Prosecutor Ian Fenny said it was clear Pitarka had regularly been travelling in and out of the UK over a substantial period of time.

Pitarka's DNA was found at the scenes of the five UK burglaries and he has criminal convictions in Germany, Sweden and Albania.

Pitarka would not tell Gloucestershire Police if he had committed any other burglaries in this country apart from the five that could be proved.

The victims of the first burglary in Essex received a security alert message on a mobile phone app in December 12, 2022 and went back home and discovered that a kitchen window had been compromised, but because a dog had been left inside, the attempted break in at this point was abandoned.

“However the home owners realised that, undeterred, Pitarka had clambered onto a flat roof and gained entry through an upstairs window and made an untidy search of the property. Jewellery, cash and designer clothing were stolen," Mr Fenny said.

The property stolen was a substantial amount of irreplaceable jewellery that had been bequeathed to the woman resident on her wedding day.

The second burglary, in Chigwell, Essex, occurred on December 30, 2022 while the occupants were away on holiday. When the family returned on January 1 2023 this year they discovered they had been burgled and called the police. Pitarka stole cash, jewellery and designer items.

The jewellery that had been stolen had been inherited from her mother and grandmother and held a lot of sentimental value.

On October 16, 2023 Pitarka entered a large detached bungalow in Cheltenham. At around 9.30pm, the homeowner’s daughter was attending her mother’s address and realised the house had been burgled.

“The intruder left muddy footprints all over the house, showing which route Pitarka used to gain entry and exit the property," said Mr Fenny.

The court was told that a large number of items of jewellery were stolen, which had been earmarked for her grandchildren’s inheritance.

RECOMMENDED READING: Man found dead at Blackpole Retail Park - updates

RECOMMENDED READING: Delivery driver's anger at council's parking ticket warnings

The homeowner’s daughter told the court that her mother never knew about the burglary, because she was in a care home

Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: “The reason behind Pitarka’s offending is his dependency on cocaine and gambling. Escaping to other countries was his way of avoiding the consequences and difficulties of his addictions in Albania."

Pitarka, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the three burglaries in Essex on December 12, 2022; December 30, 2023 and January 8, 2023. He also admitted the burglary in Cheltenham on October 16, 2023 and the final break-in at Malvern on November, 2023.

The judge, Recorder Don Tait told Pitarka: “You clearly targeted the homes of elderly people. You did this because in your home country, Albania, you had a cocaine and gambling addiction."