Burglar targeted Redbridge and Essex homes to steal cars and bank cards
PUBLISHED: 15:36 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:36 20 July 2020
A serial burglar who targeted properties across Woodford Green and Chigwell before stealing cars and then using the owners’ bank cards has been jailed for nine years.
James Hearne, 29, of no fixed address, received eight years for six counts of burglary and two further sentences of six months each for two counts of theft.
He received concurrent sentences for a further three counts of theft and for four counts of fraud.
Hearne appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, July 16.
Essex Police linked him to a string of burglaries which took place between November 25 last year and March 18 this year across Redbridge and Essex.
On March 3, Hearne burgled properties in Woodford Green and Chigwell, where he stole two cars and used owners’ bank cards at a petrol station and McDonald’s.
Police examined CCTV footage where the stolen bank cards were used and they also traced his DNA in the stolen cars.
The first incident was reported in Brentwood where several watches were stolen.
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He was also linked to burglaries in Harlow, Wickford and Witham during this period.
The last known incident happened the week before the country went into lockdown because of coronavirus.
Hearne burgled two homes in Essex on March 16 and 17.
He stole vehicles during those burglaries and was then arrested in Romford on March 31.
Speaking after Hearne was jailed, Det Sgt David Wilkinson, of Brentwood CID, said: “Hearne is a prolific burglar who has received a substantial custodial sentence for his crimes.
“He was brazen, targeting homes across Essex to steal the occupants’ vehicles before using their bank cards to pay for food and other items.
“Hearne left a trail of evidence behind and we made it our mission to bring him to justice.
“His DNA was found at burglary scenes and within the vehicles we located and his image could clearly be seen during his visits to petrol stations and fast food restaurants.
“I know our communities and our homes are safer with Hearne locked in a prison cell.”
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