A PROLIFIC burglar posed as a police officer to trick elderly and vulnerable victims, stealing thousands of pounds.

Elijah King has been jailed for 11 years for scaring people into inviting him into their homes before stealing cash from them while they were distracted.

The 37-year-old caused so much stress to one of his victims that she was left blind in one eye, a court heard.

His victims ranged in age from 70 to 92, across Goldhanger and Woodham Walter, as well as Wickford, Billericay, East Hanningfield, Chelmsford and Ingatestone.

King carried out his burgling spree from April 1 to July 22 this year, knocking at the doors of his victims where he impersonated an officer investigating counterfeit money.

He showed the victims fake identification documents and on occasions he threatened them with arrest and pushed past them, saying if they did not comply he would “call in the dogs”.

Each victim allowed King into their home, later finding cash missing from their address.

King was arrested on July 23 after police executed a warrant at his address in Meadow Lane, Runwell.

At Basildon Crown Court on Friday, King shed tears in the dock as impact statements from victims were read out.

All said they were scared to leave their homes, some wanted to leave their home of multiple years, and many did not trust people coming to their door.

Sentencing King, Judge Samantha Leigh said he had taken their livelihoods.

She said: “Many of your victims thought it was their fault, but it wasn’t, it was yours.

“They may have been small sums of cash for you, but for them it was their pension, their food bill, their livelihood.

“This pattern of behaviour shows how truly cold and calculated you are.”

Investigating officer PC Jonathan Stephenson, of Brentwood CID, said King could have followed his victims.

He said: “King targeted our community’s elderly and vulnerable for his own financial gain.

“We believe King followed some of his victims home after he saw them withdrawing cash in their towns.

“The crimes he carried out have and could continue to have an impact on the lives of the victims, with some even registered as disabled.

“He has today been sent to prison and I hope this outcome provides some justice.”