'Opportunist' Little Dunmow burglar is jailed after pleading guilty to a string of offences

PUBLISHED: 08:54 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:54 15 November 2018

Shane Smith. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Shane Smith. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

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A burglar from Little Dunmow has been jailed for more than three years and has been disqualified from driving for a total of 44 months after he admitted nine offences over two counties.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, Shane Smith, 27, of Gypsy Lane, was sentenced to three years and four months for burglary, attempted burglary of three addresses, two counts of dangerous driving, no insurance, and drink driving.

He was also dealt with for a court warrant and a breach of court bail.

On August 30, 2017, police received three reports from people living in Fordham that a man matching Smith’s description had tried to force entry to their garages.

He was seen driving a white van and on one occasion waved to a woman as he drove off and on another he pretended that he had knocked at the wrong address as a man arrived home.

Smith was arrested on October 14, 2017, at George Yard Shopping Centre, in Braintree, after failing to stop for drink and careless driving and was later released under investigation.

Following his arrest police received information that Smith’s DNA had been found an attempted burglary in Widford, Hertfordshire.

He went on to burgle a property in The Street, Little Dunmow, on September 2, this year, where he stole jewellery, handbags, car keys, cards and two distinctive baseball caps. He was caught on CCTV wearing a cap and walking off with items in a pillow case.

Police attempted to stop Smith 17 days after spotting him driving a van in Felsted. However, Smith drove through a children’s play area during school rush hour before escaping.

He was circulated as a wanted person on social media on October 9 this year and arrested and charged a day later.

Detective Sergeant Becky Young, of Braintree CID, said: “Smith is an opportunist who drove around rural villages during work hours in the hope of getting quick access to peoples’ possessions in garages and homes.

“He thought he was one step ahead of us and made dangerous decisions in his desperation to escape. Smith will now serve a lengthy prison sentence and driving ban.”

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