A man who took part in a distraction burglary by telling an elderly woman he was a council worker coming to fix a damaged fence has been jailed for three years.
John Wright knocked on the door of an address in the Hanging Hill area of Brentwood on February 19, 2018.
He claimed to be from the council and there to fix a damaged fence which the victim had actually previously reported.
The victim, a woman in her 80s, accompanied Wright out to the back garden where he proceeded to take notes.
A short time later a second man called to Wright from the direction of the house, claiming they had an urgent job they needed to attend to and he left.
When he’d gone the victim realised her bedroom had been searched and several items were missing including bank cards and a three-figure sum of cash.
Through checks via automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR), officers identified a van registered to Wright had been in the area at the time of the incident.
He was stopped and arrested in April 2018 and the victim picked him out during an identification procedure.
During interview, Wright, 28, of Victoria Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill, denied he had been involved,
He was later charged with burglary and, despite denying the charge, was convicted and at Basildon Crown Court on Friday February 7, was jailed for three years.
Detective Constable Frankie Cole, from Brentwood CID, said: “John Wright targeted an elderly woman and conned his way into her home.
“Burglary is a horrible, invasive crime which can leave the victim feeling unsafe in their own home.
“Your home should be your refuge and nobody should be left feeling this way.
“I would urge anyone who is unsure of the identity of persons visiting them to not allow them in to their home, and to make enquiries with the company or organisation to confirm the person is legitimate before allowing anyone unannounced into their home.”