A BURGLAR who targeted nine homes stealing bank cards and phones has been handed a seven year jail sentence. 

Shane Smith, 31 of Gypsy Lane, Little Dunmow, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, July 10, after pleading guilty to 13 burglary-related offences.

Smith was arrested in March this year after being connected to burglaries and attempted burglaries in the Braintree district.

Read more:

Between August 2022 and March 2023, he was responsible for breaking into nine homes and stealing items including bank cards, phones and televisions.

During one burglary, Smith also stole a West Highland Terrier, which has since been reunited with its owner.

The 31-year-old had been connected to the offences following advanced forensic work which was carried out by specialist officers.

At one of the burglaries, Smith had left behind a metal car jack, leaving his DNA which was then connected to the other ongoing investigations.

This work tied him to burglaries in locations including Dunmow, Great Bardfield, Hatfield Peverel and Takeley.

He was charged with nine counts of burglary dwelling, one count of attempted burglary and three counts of fraud by false representation.

After pleading guilty, he appeared in court on July 10, where he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Nathan Hutchinson, who oversees investigations in North Essex said: "Shane Smith thought that he was above the law.

"He thought we wouldn’t catch him. He was wrong.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

"This result demonstrates the length that Essex Police will go to, to take people like him off the streets and to protect people and property.

"Burglary is such an intrusive crime which has a detrimental effect on victims.

"We understand this and we put our communities first in Essex.

"That’s why we did everything we could to get the evidence and stop Smith from doing this to anyone else."