Mihai Apitilisei, 44, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in Swindon Crown Court this month to five counts of burglary last year.  In one incident on 12 July, Apitilisei was involved in the burglary of £12,000-worth of cigarettes from Batleys Sheffield. 

Another incident involved causing £1,998- worth of damage in an attempt to steal cigarettes from Booker Basingstoke, while £8,349-worth of damage was caused during a separate attempt to steal cigarettes from Booker Salisbury.

Detective constable Mark Welch, of Wiltshire Police Community Tasking Team, said: “Our enquiries are now ongoing to find the offenders who worked alongside him and make sure they are also brought to justice.”

A Booker spokesperson told betterRetailing the wholesaler is working to help reduce any further incidents and disruption to retailers. “We take matters of security very seriously and have supported the police with their enquiry,” they said.