A serial burglar who fled to Spain after stealing property worth about £914,000 has been jailed for eight years.

David Buisson stole mostly cash and jewellery from the homes and businesses he targeted in the Epping Forest district and Canvey between December 2015 and June 2017.

Our enquiries into these burglaries led us to Buisson and in April last year, we carried out search warrants at addresses linked to him in Ongar and Woodford, where we found tools and items used for drilling and lock picking.

We also found a drone and jewellery, which were found to have been stolen.

One of two computers seized showed internet searches had been made for some of the addresses that were later burgled.

Enquiries led us to an address in Spain and the 49-year-old of Stanley Place, Ongar, was arrested under a European Arrest Warrant in Fuengirola in April this year, following our work with the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Crime Agency.

He admitted 11 burglaries and two attempted burglaries when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on July 10 and was jailed today, Friday, September 14, for a total of eight years. He was also made subject of a serious crime prevention order, to run for five years to start upon his release. A forfeiture and destruction order was also made for the lock picking tools.

He denied three burglaries, conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of cannabis with intent to supply and possession of a firearm without a certificate. The judge ordered for these to lie on file.

Detective Inspector Rob Staples said: “The invasion of your home by burglars can be incredibly impactive and we recognise the distress this can cause.

“The detectives involved in this complex investigation left no stone unturned to identify and locate David Buisson to hold him to account for his part in these offences.

“Investigating officers Detective Sergeant David Wilkinson and Detective Constable Russ Chamberlain, along with their colleagues across the force, have worked tirelessly on this case and worked closely with law enforcement colleagues both here in the UK and in Spain.

“I am pleased for the victims that the man responsible for these burglaries has been brought to justice, and I hope they find some comfort knowing he has been imprisoned.”

A hearing will be held under the Proceeds of Crime Act.