A man who admitted more than 30 burglaries in the Weymouth, Dorchester and Purbeck areas has been jailed.

David Clift, aged 47 and of no fixed abode, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court to be sentenced on Tuesday 18 June 2024 after pleading guilty to nine burglary offences as well as a charge of assaulting an emergency worker and a fraud offence. He also asked for a further 23 burglaries to be taken into consideration when he was sentenced.

Clift was jailed for six years.

He was charged with nine commercial burglaries that occurred in Swanage, Weymouth and Dorchester between Wednesday 13 December 2023 and Tuesday 27 February 2024.

Premises targeted included cafés, churches and a hair salon.

Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team worked with investigators from the Volume Crime Team to compile evidence of Clift’s offending, which included CCTV and forensic evidence, and the defendant was arrested on Wednesday 28 February 2024.

While he was in custody, Clift spat at and kicked out at an officer.

Clift was subsequently charged and at court he admitted a further 23 burglary offences – 15 in Weymouth, four in Dorchester, two in Wareham, one in Swanage and one in Crewkerne in Somerset – which were taken into account when he was sentenced.

Police Constable Dave Williams, of the Volume Crime Team, said: “David Clift is a prolific offender who repeatedly targeted commercial premises in the Weymouth, Dorchester and Purbeck areas.

“We fully recognise the impact offending of this nature has on businesses, with many of those targeted by Clift being smaller independent retailers.

“With local officers from the neighbourhood policing team, we are committed to taking action against offenders such as Clift so they can be held accountable for their crimes.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Sam Goom, of Weymouth and Portland police, said: “Weymouth and Portland has low numbers of burglaries, but we recognise the impact these offences have on victims when they happen.

“David Clift was a one-man crime wave. Officers from across Weymouth and West Dorset worked diligently and quickly to identify and apprehend him. Our relentless approach has ensured he has faced justice in the courts.

“I hope this brings the victims some satisfaction. His sentence will ensure the public are protected from him for some time.”

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