‘Successful’ teenage burglar ‘incited fear’ as he targeted Essex homes with high-end cars (Image: Essex Police)
A “prolific” teenage burglar who targeted Essex homes to snatch high-value, prestigious vehicles has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
Patrick Clark, 18, was arrested on March 24 after an Audi S5 he helped steal in Harlow crashed on the A414 in St.
When it was stopped, face coverings, an axe, cannabis and gloves were found inside.
These were soon linked to two burglaries in Harlow and Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.
Subsequent investigations by Essex and Bedfordshire detectives quickly linked Clark to other attempted burglaries and other crimes in Harlow and Epping and Potton and Sandy in Bedfordshire.
Clark, of Roundfield Avenue, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was convicted by Luton Crown Court on December 7 after previously admitting to conspiracy to break into 13 properties in Essex and Bedfordshire, conspiracy to steal four cars, aggravated vehicle confiscation and alcohol theft would have.
He had also requested consideration of 21 other offences, including 14 attempted burglaries in Harlow, fleeing two businesses in Harlow for free, breaking into a house in Epping to take car keys and stealing a Volkswagen Polo, two thefts of license plates from vehicles in Potton, Bedfordshire, and withdrawing without payment from a Potton store.
All crimes were committed in February and March of this year.
Clark was sentenced to 32 months in prison for conspiring to break into 13 properties in Essex and Bedfordshire in February and March 2022.
He was sentenced to a further 12 months in prison simultaneously for conspiracy to steal four vehicles and a further 12 months simultaneously for aggravated vehicle occupancy, plus one month simultaneously for stealing £100 of alcohol from a Co-op in Sandy, Bedfordshire .
The four vehicles were an Audi S5, a Jaguar XF R Sport, a Mercedes GLA 200 and a Ford Focus.
No evidence was presented to the court against a fifth charge of dangerous driving.
Clark was also suspended from driving for two years and seven months, was ordered to take an extended re-test, had his license validated for driving without insurance, and was ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge.
CID Harlow investigating officer PC Adam Drane said after the hearing: “We are committed to ensuring justice is done to burglary victims because we understand how your home can be impacted on people.
“Clark is a prolific offender and has brought fear and misery to many people through his possessiveness.
“Thanks to a quick joint investigation with colleagues from Bedfordshire Police and the extensive evidence we gathered, Clark was quickly linked to a wide range of crimes and subsequently had no choice but to admit his many crimes in court.
“I would urge anyone who has been broken into to report this to us as soon as possible so we can investigate immediately and ensure we gather enough evidence to identify the suspects and bring them to justice. “
And DC Kevin Howes, from Bedfordshire Police Force’s dedicated burglary team Operation Maze, added: “Like many of our partner forces, tackling burglaries in Bedfordshire is a top priority.
“Our dedicated burglary squad works incredibly hard to bring criminal charges and bring them to justice. This particular case provided a unique opportunity to work closely with our colleagues in Essex and not only ensure justice for the victims of Clark, but also reassure our communities that these types of crimes will simply not be tolerated.”