A SERIAL burglar who targeted seven hairdressers during a spree of offences in Colchester has been jailed.

Reece Huggins, formerly of Halstead, stole at least £2,275 when he smashed his way into 14 businesses between January 28 and February 26.

The 24-year-old, who has at least 29 previous convictions, appeared via video link from Chelmsford Prison as Judge Patricia Lynch QC condemned him to more than three years behind bars for his crimes.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Friday his spree began when he entered Invictus Barbers, Sir Isaac’s Walk, on January 28 shortly before 1am and stole £160.

On the same morning Huggins seized £100 each from Top Style Barbers, Eld Lane, and Golden Touch Barbers, Long Wyre Street, causing £420 and £380 worth of damage respectively.

Gazette: Jailed - Reece HugginsJailed - Reece Huggins

The next day he entered Boots and stole £30 in cash after smashing the front door’s panel to gain entry.

And on January 30 he committed a further six crimes, taking £240 from Mango Hair Design, Crouch Street, £30 from ID Hairdressing, Priory Walk, and £250 from the Cake Story, Priory Walk.

Huggins also took £150 and caused £1,500 worth of damage to Chicago’s, Eld Lane, and attempted to burgle hairdressers Faces.

He caused £1,700 worth of damage when he attempted to burgle Glow Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics in Priory Street and later took £300 in cash from a cobbler’s shop on January 31.

Almost one month later, Huggins took £65 from Bar 82, Culver Street East, £300 from Volume, Church Walk, and an unknown sum from B and M Business Machines, Military Road.

Admitting a further five crimes committed in Suffolk, Huggins admitted 12 counts of burglary in Colchester and two attempted burglaries.

Jerry Hayes, prosecuting, told the court how he had seized at least £2,275 during his raids and caused £7,794 worth of damage.

Sentencing him to three years and four months imprisonment, Judge Lynch said: “The reason these crimes are serious is because they are small businesses which have small margins.

“These crimes, although not sophisticated, have a large impact on them and the community.”