An 81-year-old man was assaulted, had his wedding ring prised from his finger and was locked in a room by a knife-wielding burglar. The pensioner was just one of many of Dobroslav Gabor’s victims who carried out a massive spree of burglaries throughout Birmingham and the Black Country.

Gabor of Windermere Road, Handsworth, who had previously admitted conspiracy to burgle, aggravated burglary and two charges of burgling a temple, was jailed for 16 years.

The elderly man – who had Parkinson’s, heart disease and used a walking frame – left the front door to his bungalow in West Bromwich unlocked as he waited for a carer when the 26-year-old struck on October 28, 2020.

READ MORE: Cruel thugs beat Birmingham pensioner in home invasion to steal jewellery

The victim went into his living room and was confronted by Gabor. Because he was hard of hearing he had not heard them come in said Sally Cairns, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court.

She said: “The intruder had the lower part of his face covered and the victim demanded to know what they were doing in his home. Gabor then punched him, knocking him backwards, over a coffee table and onto the floor.

“He knocked his walking frame over and Gabor then picked up a small kitchen knife from a table. He stood over the pensioner and asked for keys and money while poking him in the abdomen with the knife.

“Gabor then went through his pockets taking a bank card and £300 in cash. He then forced the victim’s wedding ring from his finger, a ring he had worn for 59 years, causing him pain.”

Miss Cairns said the defendant then picked the elderly man up, prodded him with the knife and forced him to walk into the dining room. At this point, the pensioner managed to activate a panic alarm attached to his arm.




She said he then forced the victim into a room off the hallway, locking him in and where he remained for about 10 to 15 minutes. By the time he managed to open the door he found the intruder had left and had unplugged his phone.

He was taken to hospital – where he remained for two nights – after it was suspected he may have broken his hip. But fortunately, no bones were found to have been broken.

Gabor began his four and a half week burglary spree in July 2020, either breaking into or attempting to break into 65 properties.

The court was told many of his victims were elderly and sometimes asleep with Gabor taking thousand of pounds worth of property. The first victim was a man who lived in supported living accommodation for elderly people.

On July 23, Gabor forced open a fire escape which allowed him access to a corridor leading to the victim’s apartment. He stole a mobile phone and two rare commemorative coins worth around £2,000.

And on September 6, a family living at an address in Handsworth returned from a wedding to find their home had been ransacked and burgled.

“Electrical goods, jewellery and gold to the value of £85,000 had been stolen,” Miss Cairns said.

The court also heard that on a number of occasions Gabor was captured on CCTV trying to get into the home of an 86-year-old woman who had gone to church but left empty-handed.

On October 19, Gabor was arrested after returning to a shop where he had used a bank card stolen during a burglary. However, he was then bailed and carried on with the spree targeting addresses in Walsall and Oldbury.

One of the burgled properties was in Edgbaston where they stole electrical items, jewellery and even children’s money boxes.

Passing sentence, Judge Avik Mukherjee referring to the attack on the pensioner said: “He was at the time elderly and in poor health and alone. The consequence of your appalling behaviour towards him is that his health has deteriorated.

“You broke into his home deliberately masked to conceal your identity. You prised a wedding ring off his finger, the first time it had left his finger for 59 years.”

He added: “You have relevant previous convictions in Slovakia. You have many victims, many devastated victims, some elderly some vulnerable. Many victims have suffered serious consequences as a result of your behaviour.

“Victims have been left feeling violated and wondering whether they can continue living in their own homes. This offending occurred during lockdown or when significant restrictions were being applied to members of the public. You chose to spend that time burgling people’s homes.”

Naeem Karbhari, defending, said Gabor was the father of five children and was an economic migrant who had worked in a car wash but fell into committing these crimes during the pandemic.

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