Prolific burglar jailed after crime spree

A prolific burglar who targeted homes across Essex, stealing cars and then using the owners’ bank cards at takeaways and petrol stations has been jailed for nine years.

James Hearne, 29, of no fixed address, appeared by video link at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday July 16.

He received eight years for six counts of burglary and six months for two counts of theft.

He received concurrent sentences for a further three counts of theft and for four counts of fraud.
Police linked Hearn to burglaries in Brentwood, Harlow, Chigwell, Woodford Green, Wickford and Witham between November 25, 2019 and March 18, 2020.

The first incident was reported in Brentwood where several watches were stolen.

On March 3, Hearne burgled properties in Chigwell and Woodford Green, taking two cars and using bank cards at a petrol station and at a McDonald’s restaurant.

He went on to burgle an address in Wickford on March 16 and used a bank card at a shop before burgling a home in Witham on March 17.

Hearne was arrested in Romford on March 31.

Detective Sergeant David Wilkinson, of Brentwood CID, said: “Hearne is 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.

“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.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]