A man who stole more than £800,000 of jewellery and designer watches has been sent to prison for eight years.

William Flynn, 36, of Kennard Road, London, pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court on January 2 to theft from properties in St George’s Hill and the Wentworth Estate between July 29 and 30 last year.

In total, Flynn admitted 16 burglaries in Surrey, four in London and four in Essex, with a further 14 burglaries in the Metropolitan Police area taken into consideration.

In the robberies, in which designer watches, rings, cash and a designer alarm clock were stolen, Flynn pretended to be a rich Russian businessman with strong Russian accent claiming he was looking for a property for his teenage daughter.

Flynn was arrested while driving his Range Rover in Essex on August 26 last year and was remanded in custody.

Detective Superintendent John Boshier said: “William Flynn was a prolific offender who targeted people in wealthy properties wishing to sell their homes. It is good to see that he has received a custodial sentence that reflects the severity of his actions.

“The outcome of this case also highlights the excellent joint working practices with neighbouring forces to collate vital information and evidence necessary to convict guilty suspects.

“The fact that Flynn has received an eight year imprisonment sentence reinforces the message that such criminal activity will not be tolerated in Surrey and all means and resources will be used to bring criminals to justice.”