Burglar jailed after being linked to at least 40 break-ins

Peter Flowers pleaded guilty to burglary and conspiracy to burgle. Picture: Essex Police

Peter Flowers pleaded guilty to burglary and conspiracy to burgle. Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Archant

A man who conspired to burgle dozens of homes across east London and Essex alongside his girlfriend has been jailed for six years.

Peter Flowers and Lindsay Hilden would sometimes wake their victims by turning on the house lights or by being heard chatting and even laughing.

Between December 13, 2016, and February 1, 2017, police received reports of burglaries across nine locations – Romford, Chadwell Heath, Ilford, Rainham, Aveley, Canvey Island, Grays, Stanford-le Hope and Westcliff.

Officers investigated and at least 40 were linked to Flowers, 43, and Hilden, 37, both unemployed and of no fixed address.

They were arrested close to the scene of a burglary in Coombewood Drive, Chadwell Heath, in the early hours of Wednesday, February 1.

Flowers was already wanted by police for failing to appear on police bail for driving offences, possession of a knife and possession of cocaine.

On Friday, August 4 he was jailed at Basildon Crown Court for six years for conspiracy to burgle, three years for burglary, one month for possession of an offensive weapon, 42 days for driving while disqualified, 21 days for failing to stop and seven days for possession of cocaine. The sentences will run concurrently.

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He admitted the offences on Wednesday, May 3.

Hilden is due to appear at the same court later this month for sentencing after admitting conspiracy to burgle and burglary at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, March 24.

Pc Michael Brimfield said after Friday’s hearing: “Hilden and Flowers are prolific offenders who have shown no regard or remorse for their actions. They turned up to their victims’ addresses and forced open the front doors before carrying out messy searches and taking their possessions.

“They were linked to 21 burglaries reported to us between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, six of which occurred in one morning alone.

“I would like to thank everyone involved with this case, which has involved more than 60 witnesses and around 40 investigations. I would also like to thank all the victims for their support in bringing Flowers to justice. Flowers now has plenty of time to think about his actions behind bars.”