A burglar caught red-handed by police after he broke into a student house in Sheffield has been jailed for more than three years.
Roy Scarborough, aged 31, targeted the house in Harland Road, Ecclesall, in the early hours of May 5.
He was spotted carrying a laptop bag by police officers at 3.35am and fled, discarding the bag, a screwdriver, black gloves and a torch.
Sheffield Crown Court heard two laptops, a computer lead, USB cable and set of house keys were in the bag.
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said when police attended the property the occupants were still asleep, but a back door had been left open.
She said one of the laptops was a Christmas gift worth £600 to a student living in the property. All his university work was on the hard drive.
The other computer, worth £800, belonged to a serving soldier who was visiting his friend at the house.
Scarborough told police he had bought the laptops from the men.
Michael Cane-Soothill mitigating, said Scarborough, of Lowedges Road, Lowedges, Sheffield, had a drug habit and had been released from prison a month previously.
He said: “His drug habit had returned and that’s how he came to be committing this offence.
“He is desperate to get off drugs and cease offending.”
Scarborough admitted burglary.
Jailing him for three years and four months, Judge Roger Keen said: “You are a house burglar. This is your fourth appearance for that sort of offence and it occurred within a month of your release from prison.
“This was in somebody’s home, when they were in bed in the early hours of the morning and you went equipped with a screwdriver, gloves and a torch.”