Ilford man jailed for impersonating police officer during series of Reading burglaries

Riaz Ahmed has been sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Photo: PA

Riaz Ahmed has been sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A burglar who talked his way into people’s homes wearing a police uniform and even handcuffed one of his victims has been jailed for impersonating a police officer.

Stefan-Catalin Dunareanu, 27, of Ilford Lane, was also found guilty of two counts of burglary following a trial at Reading Crown Court last week.

Dunareanu, who was also cleared of one count of assault, was sentenced to a total of four years’ imprisonment on Friday.

At about 8pm on October 23 Dunareanu, who was dressed in a fake police uniform, knocked on the door of a residential property in Reading.

When the victim, a 26-year-old woman, answered the door, Dunareanu told her he was at the property to carry out a drugs warrant.

During the burglary Dunareanu stole an Asus laptop, Huawei tablet, a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and an Armani watch.

An hour later and wearing the same fake police uniform, Dunareanu then visited another suburban road in Reading.

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He knocked on the door which was answered by the victim, a 40-year-old woman.

Dunareanu again claimed to be a police officer and handcuffs were used to restrain the victim, following which a search was conducted but no items were stolen.

Investigating officer, Det Con Emma Smith of Force CID based at Reading police station, said: “This was a complex investigation with a number of interesting elements and hurdles to overcome.

“Unfortunately we had little forensics opportunities so we had to focus on the handcuffs that were used during the second burglary and subsequently left at the scene.

“We discovered a serial number on the handcuffs, contacted the distributors and were able to link a recent purchase of handcuffs to an address in Ilford where Dunareanu was arrested.

“The offences were unusual because Dunareanu was dressed in a fake police uniform and claimed to be a police officer, which were an aggravating feature in this case.

“The victims have shown tremendous courage to attend court and give evidence and I want to pay tribute to them. I hope they feel some sense of justice that Dunareanu has been jailed for four years.”