A bald thief who used a series of wigs to disguise himself during a crime spree that spanned months has been jailed after finally being caught.
Darren Giardina used wigs to avoid being recognised as he carried out a string of robberies across Kent between July and September 2019, including one where a victim was tied up while their home was ransacked.
The 44-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of two counts of burglary and robbery following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Giardina was one of two robbers who tied up a resident and searched his home in Broadstairs last September, stealing numerous items including jewellery, an engraved pocket watch, an antique pistol and an antique musket.
The items were found about a week later at a property in Ramsgate, which had also been burgled and furniture and other goods taken.
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Fingerprints belonging to Giardina were found at the scene and an investigation led to the discovery of CCTV footage showing him wearing a wig during one of the incidents.
Enquiries showed he had worn other wigs during further offences between July and September. He was caught on camera stealing a copper water tank from a property in Ramsgate in July, and was also seen stealing from a car in Broadstairs while wearing another wig the following month.
Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Jay Robinson, of Kent Police, said: “Giardina’s decision to wear wigs to try and disguise himself was undoubtedly a ‘hair-brained’ one – he was recognisable despite wearing them.
“He was also identified as the suspect because he left fingerprints and other evidence at the scenes which our team quickly located.
“Perhaps Giardina will use his time in prison to consider putting his energies into something positive to benefit others, rather than party costumes to benefit his own greed.”
He added: “Stealing from other people is despicable; the victim in the robbery was subjected to a frightening experience, and those who had their homes burgled now have to come to terms with someone rummaging through their belongings.
“I thank them all for supporting this investigation and wish them all the best for the future.”