A career burglar who was caught red handed after sneaking into a Mablethorpe home has been jailed for three years.
Mark Harrison, 39, was spotted by a neighbour after using an unlocked rear door to enter the property in Wellington Road.
One of the householders had heard the sound of ‘shuffling feet’ but wrongly assumed it was their son getting up, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, said when the occupier saw his kitchen door had been left wide open he looked outside and saw two police officers who had already been alerted by his neighbour.
Miss Bradley said the neighbour had dialled 999 after confronting Harrison as he left the property with a wallet that had been left out on a work top.
Police were quick to arrive and arrested Harrison nearby. The wallet was found discarded in a drain. A lock knife was also found in Harrison’s possession.
During police interview Harrison admitted he had gone in to the property through an unsecured door.
The court heard Harrison had a string of previous convictions for burglary going back to 1992 and had already served two prison sentences of five years.
Miss Bradley added: “In total he has 23 previous convictions for 61 offences.”
In defence, Jon Straw told the court Harrison was in the property for just a minute and resorted to crime to feed his drug problems.
“There was no confrontation with the householders,” Mr Straw added.
“He took the wallet and left as quick as he entered.”
Mr Straw said Harrison was not carrying the lock knife for the purpose of the burglary.
Harrison, of no fixed address, admitted the burglary on December 9 last year and possessing a bladed article.
Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told him: “You have a bad record for dwelling house burglary, it does not make pleasant reading.”