‘Brazen and prolific’ burglar caught after leaving DNA on steering wheel is jailed

Billy Francis has been jailed for burglaries in Essex. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Billy Francis has been jailed for burglaries in Essex. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant

A prolific burglar has been jailed for 12 years after admitting a string of thefts, including his role in the stealing of multiple cars from a garage.

Billy Francis pleaded guilty to burglaries in Halstead, Buckhurst Hill, Brentwood, Loughton and Gravesend, as well as an aggravated burglary in East Church, Kent.

In the Halstead burglary, 11 cars were stolen from the Crossways Garage in the High Street on February 10 last year.

DNA belonging to Francis was found on the steering wheel of one of the remaining cars, which had been moved to allow the thieves to steal other ones.

The 33-year-old, of Durham Road in Manor Park, London, was jailed at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday for a total of 12 years. He was also banned from driving for eight years and must take an extended test.

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Detective Sergeant David Wilkinson, of Brentwood CID, said: “Francis is a brazen and prolific burglar, but forensic tests and CCTV played a key part in helping us identify and catch him.

“The long prison sentence he has been given reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”

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