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Basildon man jailed for five years for his part in crime spree that started in Harold Hill

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 July 2017

Lewis Matthews, of Brooke House, Basildon, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on Friday. Photo: Essex Police

Lewis Matthews, of Brooke House, Basildon, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on Friday. Photo: Essex Police

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A man has been jailed for five years for his part in a late night crime spree that began when two cars were stolen in Harold Hill in June.

Lewis Matthews, 22, of Brooke House, Basildon, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on Friday for burglary, with a number of convictions for other crimes running concurrently.

At around 1.30am on June 20, a Peugeot 208 and a Volkswagen Touareg were stolen during a burglary in Recreation Avenue, Harold Hill in which a group of thieves had broken into a residential property.

Less than two hours later, the owners of a house in Corringham, Essex, were woken by suspects stealing their BMW.

The culprits also attempted to steal a second vehicle but were distracted and drove off.

Five minutes later the stolen BMW was caught on camera, with a short car chase taking place when the driver refused to pull over for pursuing police officers.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle in Basildon and ran off, where Matthews was caught after a short foot chase.

Investigating officers later discovered the Volkswagen Touareg that had been stolen from Recreation Drive and were able to link the young burglar to the car.

It had items that had been stolen from both the Harold Hill and Corringham homes inside.

It also came to light that fraudulent purchases had been made on a bank card stolen from the home in Harold Hill.

Investigating officer Pc Richard Dines, of Grays CID, said: “The suspects in both incidents forced their way into their victim’s homes as they slept before stealing cars from their driveways.

“One victim was put through a terrifying situation where she was awoken to find the suspects outside her home.

“We are continuing to investigate the burglaries to bring the other perpetrators to justice.

“It didn’t take us long to catch up with Matthews, who is now serving a prison sentence for his crimes.”

Anyone with information about either burglary is asked to contact Pc Dines at Grays CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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