In the early hours of 8 September 2023, several men went to a house near Luton Road armed with bladed weapons, wearing gloves and with their faces obscured by masks or balaclavas.

After entering the premises, they woke the occupants, assaulted one of them and demanded to know the location of their valuables. Following a search, the criminals stole two watches and two mobile phones before fleeing the scene. The police were alerted and an attending patrol saw some men running from the area. A mask was recovered near the victims’ house and a forensic examination recovered DNA belonging to Rogel Dumitru.

Investigators were able to show Dumitru and his car had travelled from Bexleyheath to Chatham accompanied by the occupants of a van, before and after the incident. They also proved he had been in contact with his accomplices Denis Calin and Ion Vasile prior to the crime, and they had all been in the vicinity of the incident when it happened. Further enquiries proved Robert Maytum had also been present.

Dumitru, from Bexleyheath; Calin, from Chatham; Maytum, also from Chatham; and Vasile, from Maidstone, were arrested later that month by detectives from the Kent Crime Squad.

Vasile, Maytum and Dumitru pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to aggravated burglary, whilst Calin was convicted of burglary following a trial.

On Friday 14 June 2024, Vasile, 22, was sentenced to eight years and five months’ imprisonment and Maytum, 36, was jailed for seven years and two months. Calin, 20, was imprisoned for seven years while Dumitru, 20, will be sentenced at a later date.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Dan Bister, said:

‘This was a premeditated crime during which a family were terrorised in their own home. The threats with weapons will have left a lasting impact on the victims and those responsible should be ashamed of their actions. A meticulous investigation ensured the main culprits were identified, swiftly arrested and are now starting lengthy prison sentences.

‘I would like to thank the victims and other witnesses who assisted our investigation and ensured these violent criminals are no longer a threat to other Medway households.’

By Ed

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