A ‘professional’ jewellery thief who took advantage of the heat wave to target a home in Louth has been jailed for two years and eight months.
Michael White, 28, pocketed a haul of sentimental possessions after climbing in through an upstairs window of the house in Horncastle Road while the married owners were both at work.
Lincoln Crown Court heard White, also known as Michael Bateson, snatched a number of items of jewellery after finding them in a bedroom cupboard.
They included a 30-year-old gold chain, a 20-year-old pearl necklace, a silver locket and 40 loose pearls which had been in the family for three generations.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said: “When the owners went to work at 8am all the bottom floor windows were alarmed and locked but entry was gained through a small upstairs window which had been left open.
“White used the couple’s own ladder to climb on to the porch and then put his hand through the window to open a bigger window.”
In a victim impact statement which was read out in court the couple said they felt ‘very upset’ that somebody had invaded their private space.
White was linked to the burglary after his fingerprints were left at the point of entry and inside the house.
A pawnshop receipt for £230 was also found in his possession.
When questioned by police White denied the burglary. Mr Scott added: “He claimed he had visited the property six to eight weeks before and had been invited inside after offering to clean the windows.”
White later admitted the burglary. He also asked for another house burglary in which £2,000 cash was stolen and an offence of handling stolen goods to be taken in to consideration by the sentencing judge.
The court heard White carried out the offences while serving two suspended prison sentences for a jewellery burglary and theft in the Bedfordshire area.
In mitigation the court was told White had moved north to start a new life with his girlfriend but then returned to crime to feed his drug addiction.
White, of no fixed address, admitted a single charge of burglary on 23 July.
Passing sentence Judge Sean Morris told him: “You can now be classified as a professional burglar and jewellery thief. This was a burglary where sentimental items were taken.”