The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


Burglar’s snaps leads police to accomplice

Two burglars, Elson Gjoka and Rivaldo Toma, have been sentenced following their arrest which was aided significantly by mobile phone evidence.

The investigation by the Kent Crime Squad began after a burglary in Cedarview, Canterbury, on the 6th October 2023 where the criminals fled in a red Peugeot.

This car with cloned plates was traced back to the suspects through an online auction listing by a user named “Leo Messi”.

Toma was arrested after the car was stopped on the M20 near Maidstone three days after the break-in.

Photos found on Toma’s phone, showing stolen goods and an air pistol, played a crucial role in connecting him and his accomplice, Gjoka, to the crime scene.

These photos showed distinctive interior backgrounds that matched those in Gjoka’s flat, previously recorded on body-worn police cameras.

(Credit: Kent Police) The body worn film of Gjoka’s apartment’s furnishings, carpeting, and drapes matched the images of the stolen goods.


Police searched Gjoka’s Maidstone flat on 1st November and found watches, jewellery, cash, a receipt from a pawnbroker and a registration document for the Peugeot.

Their arrest provided key evidence linking them to not only the Canterbury incident but also nine other similar burglaries across several towns, including Sittingbourne, Chatham, Ashford, Tonbridge, and Berkshire.

The court proceedings concluded with Gjoka, aged 31, receiving a jail sentence of three years and two months, while Toma, aged 24, was sentenced to two and a half years.

Detective Sergeant Simon Clarke of Kent Police emphasised the diligent efforts of his team in using any available evidence to ensure a substantial prison term for the burglars, delivering justice for the victims.