TWO men have admitted carrying out a string of burglaries across two counties.

Police investigated 39 break-ins between December 9, 2016 and January 26, 2017.

These took place in Colchester, Ipswich, Witham, Felixstowe and Lawford with a number of properties in the same location targeted within a matter of hours of each other.

Extensive investigations were carried out into the break-ins and, due to the details of each, they were linked as part of a series.

James Preston, 25, of no fixed address, was arrested in February 2017 and Steven Patmore, 25, of Mersea Road, Colchester was arrested in January this year.

They were later both charged with conspiracy to burgle.

Preston was also charged with possession of an imitation firearm with intent to resist arrest in relation to a burglary in Wivenhoe on December 13, 2016.

As part of the investigation Patmore’s mother Nicola, his brother Dwayne and his sister Marlie were also arrested and charged.

At Chelmsford Crown Court today Preston and Steven Patmore admitted all the charges against them with Preston admitting to involvement in 26 of the break-ins and Patmore 31.

Nicola Patmore, 45, of Rosemary Road, Clacton admitted receiving stolen goods, while 24 year-old Marlie Patmore, of Bardfield Road, Colchester and 22 year-old Dwayne Patmore, also of Rosemary Road, Clacton, admitted handling stolen goods.

No evidence was offered against 26 year-old woman who had also been arrested and charged.

All five are due to be sentenced at the same court on July 4.