A dozy Ramsgate burglar left a huge clue to who had broken into a garage by leaving his own mobile phone in a van.
Anthony Rooney, 37, who had carried out seven domestic burglaries and attempted burglaries during his campaign of thieving, even tried to return to retrieve the damning evidence.
By then it was too late and now Rooney, of Coastguard Cottages, Victoria Parade has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to 20 offences including burglary, assaults, possession of amphetamine and breaches of court orders.
Prosecutor Edmund Fowler told how in May he was caught on CCTV breaking into a house in West Dumpton Lane, Ramsgate, the home of Kenneth Williams.
He said: “Mr Williams went to sleep on a sofa and woke up to find a workbench had been moved and his back door was open.
“His neighbour had CCTV and the two reviewed the footage and it showed a person coming down an entrance and searching through the gardens. In an outbuilding he took power tools.”
"You were intent on getting money to feed your drugs habit..." - Recorder Neil Saunders
The prosecutor said the CCTV then showed Rooney going into Mr Williams’ home and stealing a digital radio.
“They continued viewing the footage and saw the same man returning 12 minutes later and leaving with another radio.”
A few days later Rooney broke into a garage in Waldron Road and broke into a garage and left his Sony mobile phone inside one of the vehicles.
Mr Fowler added: “Later, the thief returned and smashed the driver’s side window. Clearly someone had returned to get the incriminating phone.”
Later the burglar raided another house in the same road and stole a lawnmower which was left in the middle of the garden.
The prosecutor said that the CCTV also showed Rooney riding a stolen bicycle, which he claimed he had bought from an unnamed man.
The burglar was bailed and was later found in June fast asleep in another shed in Winterstoke Crescent in Ramsgate with power tools stacked ready for taking, he added.
The judge, Recorder Neil Saunders, told him: “While you were on bail for other offences you broke into the house at night.
“Mr Williams was occupying his own home when you entered twice while the sick gentleman was sleeping downstairs.
“You did this because you were intent on getting money to feed your drugs habit and I accept what you say that you didn’t realise he was sleeping downstairs.
“These were opportunistic offences despite you being on bail,” he added.