A “CARELESS” burglar has been jailed for eight years after carrying out a spate of burglaries across Essex, London, and Kent.

Bungling Constantin-Tiberiu Gheorge, 39, targeted a total of 31 homes, including one in Wickford and another in Benfleet.

Police arrested the criminal in April after recognising him in Barking town centre, and were later able to match his DNA to fingerprints and blood left behind at all of the burglary scenes.

His details were not held on the DNA and fingerprint database, meaning specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police had to carry out a complex review of the crimes to identify Gheorge as a suspect.

Detective Sergeant Brett Hagen, from the north east detections team at the Metropolitan Police, said: “Gheorge has to be one of the most prolific and yet one of the most careless burglars I have encountered.

“He has committed numerous offences across London, Kent, and Essex with a blatant disregard for the victims and police alike.

“It is worth considering that for every one of these offences there was at least one victim who had to deal with the effects of becoming a victim of crime and, where burglary is concerned, the lasting effects run far deeper than a loss of property. The success of this investigation is the culmination of some excellent detective work from my entire team.

“However, special recognition should go to Detective Constable Kyle who spotted and arrested Gheorge in the street, putting a stop to this serial offender.”

Gheorge, a Romanian national of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to 31 counts of burglary during an appearance at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in north-east London.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Langworthy added: “This case highlights the benefits of this team’s approach to dealing with a linked series of unidentified offences.”