A teenage burglar who went on a two year crime spree which included smashing up the headquarters of Barnstaple aid charity Amigos has been jailed for 18 months.

Paulius Garbukas, 18, caused massive damage and disruption to Amigos in Barnstaple when he deliberately threw documents around and stole a laptop and a projector.

He burgled the charity as part of a two year crime spree which only ended when police caught him in a car which had been stolen from a garage forecourt.

His DNA linked him to the break-in at Amigos and a raid on the Barnstaple Antiques and Collectors Centre in Cross Street where he used a rope and a crowbar to smash his way through a stained glass window and stole £4,000 worth of jewellery.

Garbukas, of Rock Avenue, Barnstaple, admitted two burglaries and asked for nine more and six other offences to be considered.

Paulius Garbunkas. Picture: ContributedPaulius Garbunkas. Picture: Contributed

He was jailed for 18 months in a Young Offenders’ Institution by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “You smashed your way into Amigos, a charitable organisation, and trashed the premises comprehensively. You caused a great deal of damage, quite unnecessarily, to every room other than the toilets.

“It is difficult to see why you behaved in that way to achieve your aim. The offences which have been taken into consideration go back to 2016 and carried on until you were arrested in a stolen motor vehicle in August this year.”

Emma Cross, prosecuting, said Garbukas broke into the offices of Amigos on the night of June 6. He stole items worth £1,800 but caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

He stole the laptop used by the accountant to run the finances and deliberately ransacked the place, throwing things around for no reason and breaking a family photograph on one of the desks.

The burglary at the antiques centre was on the night of June 25. The building is in a converted church and he got in by smashing an old stained glass window. He took £4,000 worth of gold and silver.

The 71-year-old manager is now scared of going to work because she does not know what she will find there and the damage to the window £1,000 with further expenditure needed to improve security.

The other burglaries or attempts were at houses in Lane End and Maiden Street, Barnstaple and Bealy Court in Chulmleigh and at the Park School, two more at Amigos, one more at the Antique Centre, and at Old Bridge Antiques in Bideford.

Rachel Smith, defending, said Garbukas came to Britain from Lithuania four years age and did well at school. He went off the rails because he lost his passport and birth certificate and was therefore unable to work.

He fell in with a bad crowd after leaving home and was put up to committing the burglaries, for which he received only 10 per cent of the profit.

She said: “His immaturity and naivety meant he did not realise the seriousness of the offences.”