A burglar has been jailed after sharp eyed neighbours saw him crawling into an empty house.
Stuart Densham broke into the home in the centre of Exeter which was being renovated but fled when he realised he had been spotted and realised police were on their way.
Officers intercepted him and realised he was involved because he had dust from the building site in the pockets of his jogging shorts.
He also left shoe marks which matched his trainers at the scene of the break in, where he had been preparing to steal £2,000 worth of tools.
Densham, aged 32, of Dryden Road, Exeter, admitted burglary and was jailed for 15 weeks by Recorder Mr Martin Meeke, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said police were called to the house in Victoria Park Road on November 18 when people living next door realised a burglary was in progress.
She said:”Densham was seen as he crawled out through a panel on the back door. When he saw he had been spotted he went back hurriedly but the neighbours called the police after seeing a white van parked outside the front door.
“The rear doors were open and an unidentified male was standing beside them. Police found Densham six minutes later in Wonford Road. He was a known local target.
“He was searched and was wearing gloves and found to have dust in his pocket consistent with entering a property under renovation. There was also a strong match to his footwear with marks found inside the house.”
She said tools including a £850 circular saw had been moved to the front door ready to be loaded into the van.
Densham is an amphetamine addict with 24 previous convictions including two recent burglaries.
Miss Mary Cowe, defending, said Densham is an epileptic who is finally addressing his drug problem and has joined a course to improve him literacy and numeracy and make him employable.
The recorder told Densham:”You need to be disabused of the notion that you can keep committing burglaries and continue receiving non custodial sentences.”