A man suspected of being one of north Essex’s most prolific burglars is due in court today.

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David Howard was the subject of a police operation to halt the recent increase in house burglaries in Braintree and Halstead.

Following a public appeal for information via local press and social media, the 48-year-old unemployed man was arrested on Kentworth Road, Braintree at 10.30am yesterday.

Officers had been contacted by residents after suspicious activity had been reported in the area.

Braintree’s policing district commander, Chief Insp Richard Melton, said: “We would like to thank the residents of Braintree for their help throughout the week and for their support and co-operation.

“The police helicopter was deployed on Monday to help find David Howard following a number of sightings of suspicious activity in and around the town centre.

“As a result of his picture and details appearing on Essex Police’s Facebook page, a member of the public called us on Friday morning and he was arrested.

“Hopefully, this will put a dent in the burglary spree that has hit Braintree and Halstead in March.”

David Howard, of no fixed address, has been charged with committing three burglaries in Braintree, two burglaries in Halstead, one attempted burglary in Braintree, one count of dangerous driving relating to an incident on Godlings Way on March 10, one associated count of driving while disqualified and a count of driving without insurance. He was also wanted on recall to prison for breaching his licence conditions.

He has been detained in police custody prior to his appearance at Chelmsford Magistrates Court today.

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