A court heard Felix Connors, 24, sneaked into the victim’s bedroom and stole a jewellery box while one of his colleagues distracted her.
Connors was caught after he left a business card at the property with a phone number and his initials on. He was serving a suspended prison at the time of the offence on December 6.
Leeds Crown Court heard Connors knocked on the woman’s door the day before the incident and told the woman he was called Richard.
He persuaded her to have some work done and a £150 price was agreed, the court heard.
He and another man then knocked on the door in Allerton Bywater, Leeds, after completing the work and began a conversation with the victim.
Eleanor Fry, prosecuting, said Connors disappeared as the older man spoke to the woman, before returning later. The woman discovered her jewellery box was missing from her bedroom the next day. Miss Fry said the box contained jewellery worth £750 that was of great sentimental value.
When traced by police, Connors, of Pineapple Farm, Wakefield, claimed he had never been to the property and denied any involvement in the offence. He pleaded guilty to burglary shortly before he was due to do on trial.
Jailing him for 21 months, Recorder Andrew Baker said: “Her bedroom was violated and sentimental jewellery was taken.”