Basildon: Man jailed for six years over attempted robbery
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A man who forced his way into a woman’s home before demanding money has been jailed for six years thanks to an extensive investigation carried out by officers.
Eugene Solari, 53, had conducted online research to identify the home address of someone selling a high-value watch.
The seller had left details of his former address, in Wickford, on social media, with new occupants since moving in.
Solari visited the home in August 2020, pushing his way in and threatening the occupant with what he claimed was acid in a small bottle.
He made demands for money or the watch.
The occupant fled the address, with Solari leaving via the front door.
Upon leaving the property, he was confronted by the victim’s husband who had just arrived on the driveway.
A scuffle followed and Solari left his glasses at the scene, before fleeing in a car driven by accomplice Richard Forward, 57, of Warwick Drive, Rochford.
We received a call reporting the incident at 1.19pm and by 1.24pm – five minutes later – we were behind the vehicle and in pursuit.
The vehicle failed to stop for our officers and was driven the wrong way along the A127.
Forward remained with the vehicle and was arrested, while Solari fled on foot.
Thanks to our thorough investigation, Solari was later identified from DNA evidence left on his glasses at the scene.
The victim was able to positively identify Solari, while high-quality CCTV footage was recovered at the scene.
He was left with no choice but to admit attempted robbery.
In a statement, the victim said:
“I feel this incident has changed me and I feel more cautious when interacting with strangers.
“I am more aware of my surroundings, and I feel uncomfortable around people I do not know.”
Appearing at Basildon Crown Court for sentence last month, Solari, of Southchurch Road, Southend, was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
Forward admitted one count of dangerous driving and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, at the same court on Friday 14 July.
He will remain the subject of a curfew for three months and was banned from driving for 12 months, with an extended retest before he can drive again.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Jack Bettis said:
“Nobody should be made to feel unsafe or afraid in their own home. “Solari terrified the victim with his threats, leaving an understandably lasting impact. “Thankfully we were able to quickly identify him through thorough forensic work, and he will now spend a long term behind bars. “Specially trained officers were on the scene and in pursuit of a car driven in a horrendous manner by Forward. “Thankfully we were able to bring his dangerous driving to an end before any law abiding road users were hurt.”
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