A BUNGLING burglar who was caught after leaving a screwdriver behind at the scene of his crime has been jailed for five and-a-half years.

Frankie Gavin’s DNA was discovered on the tool after a break-in at an address in Great Gregorie, Basildon, on Monday, May 20.

A Mercedes S Class was stolen from the property whilst the owners were on holiday.

The vehicle was spotted the following day parked next to a Ford Fiesta at a Tesco Extra supermarket, in Pitsea.

Both cars drove off when police arrived and a high speed pursuit ensued.

The Fiesta was later found dumped at Basildon bus station and Gavin, of no fixed address, was arrested after being spotted fleeing the scene.

The Mercedes was later found in Nether Priors.

It was discovered the Fiesta had also been stolen from outside the Great Gregorie address the previous evening.

Forensic checks established a DNA match on the screwdriver and Gavin’s fingerprints on the Fiesta and a can of Red Bull inside the car.

He was later re-arrested after he tried to pawn two distinctive rings which were stolen from a house in Clenshaw Path, Basildon, five days earlier.

Gavin admitted the Basildon burglaries, two charges of theft in relation to the cars and one of dangerous driving when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday.

He also admitted criminal damage for hitting a parked car while the Mercedes was being driven away from the scene in Great Gregorie, and a further burglary in Shirlock Road, Camden, on Wednesday, March, 27.

The 30-year-old was jailed for four-and-a-half years for the offences, and a suspended sentence was activated, adding an extra year to his overall jail term.

PC Greg Roche, of Basildon CID, said: “I’d like to thank the victims and witnesses who assisted us with our investigations.

“I hope his sentence provides some closure to those who were affected by Gavin’s actions.”

One of the victims, who wished not to be named, said: “I have never had to deal with the police before and I’m aged in my 60s.

“The service I received was first class from start to finish.

“I was on holiday when the burglary took place, so when I came home the officers were already waiting for us.

“The officers were supportive all the way through and Greg continued to come around and check on us.”

The victim added: “We were regularly updated by Greg and Essex Police’s Witness Care Team throughout the case and I was recently given the news that the man who burgled us received a lengthy sentence.”