Collier Row burglar used pillowcases to carry stolen items from homes

Police do not believe Donny Archer worked alone and are appealing for information about his accompli

Police do not believe Donny Archer worked alone and are appealing for information about his accomplices. Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Archant

A prolific burglar who used victims’ pillowcases to carry prized possessions out of their homes has been jailed.

Donny Archer, 19, of Chelmsford Avenue, Collier Row, was jailed for four and a half years on Wednesday, April 11, for six counts of burglary, all to run concurrently. He was found guilty following a three-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He was found not guilty of one count of dangerous driving and one count of handling stolen goods.

He had previously denied all the offences at the same court on Friday, January 12.

Between Monday, May 15, and Wednesday, May 17, Essex Police received reports of five burglaries in Essex villages, with three reported within the space of just two hours.

They were committed in Bicknacre, Burnham-on-Crouch, Latchingdon, Purleigh and Rettendon Common.

In each case, suspects travelling in a white van forced open windows and doors before items, including jewellery, were carried out in pillowcases taken from the victims’ beds.

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At around 3.30pm on May 17, police identified the suspect vehicle in Upper Mayne, Basildon, and attempted to stop it without success.

The van was later abandoned and officers found Archer’s DNA on a green cap that he wore to the burglaries. They also found most of the items stolen inside.

Archer was also sentenced for a burglary in Castledon Road, Wickford, during which an expensive watch was taken on July 3 last year. He had previously admitted this offence at Basildon Crown Court on November 1.

After sentencing, investigating officer Det Sgt Dan Smith, of Chelmsford CID, said: “Archer targeted properties in quiet villages in broad daylight.

“We don’t believe Archer operated alone and we urge anyone with information to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”