A PROLIFIC burglar who used victims' pillowcases to take prized possessions out of their homes has been jailed.

Donny Archer, 19, removed pillowcases from victims' bedrooms and used them to steal items including jewellery from homes across Essex.

The burglaries took place between Monday, May 15, and Wednesday, May 17, across Bicknacre, Burnham-on-Crouch, Latchingdon, Purleigh and Rettendon Common.

Archer, of Chelmsford Avenue, Romford, was sentenced to four years and six months for six counts of burglary, all to run concurrently, after he was found guilty following a three-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, April 11.

He was cleared of one count of dangerous driving and one count of handling stolen goods.

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.

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

The vehicle was later abandoned and officers found Archer's DNA on a green cap he wore during the burglaries.

Most of the stolen items were also found.

Archer was also sentenced for a burglary in Castledon Road, Wickford, on July 3 last year, during which an expensive watch was taken.

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

"In each case he had the audacity to take items, including jewellery, using pillow cases he had stripped from beds.

“Following some good work and quick-thinking we identified the vehicle and found Archer’s DNA on a distinctive green hat he wore to each burglary.

“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.”