A bungling burglar who stole a pint of milk left a shovel and his rucksack at one of the homes he targeted during a crime spree in York.
Matthew John Dodson, 45, targeted a home in Malton Avenue in the early hours of July 25, this year.
He was caught when the homeowner was woken by a loud bang and went outside to investigate and found Dodson in the back garden. The owner shouted at him to leave before calling the police.
A few hours later, Dodson broken into a house in Heworth Green. The victims, who had been on holiday at the property, woke to find their passports and camera had been moved to one side and a pint of milk had been taken.
A rucksack found at the Heworth Green property contained items belonging to Dodson and he was arrested in the early hours the following day. DNA found on a shovel, which had been left behind at the property on Malton Avenue, linked Dodson to the first break-in and he was charged with one count burglary and a second count of attempted burglary.
Dodson claimed that his rucksack had been lost after a fight with a group of youths and that he had picked up the shovel to protect himself from the gang with no knowledge of where the two incidents took place.
Dodson, of no fixed address, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison earlier this week. He was also ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £181.
Detective Constable Karl May of North Yorkshire Police’s Investigation Hub said: “Dodson denied all knowledge of the two burglaries and came up with an elaborate story as to why his belongings were found at the scene of both. However, his attempts to maintain his innocence proved unsuccessful and I am pleased that the jury found him guilty.
“I know being burgled can leave victims frightened for a very long time and I’d like to thank the victims in this case for their support with our investigation.
“It is only right that our communities are protected by criminals such as Dodson and so I am pleased with the custodial sentence he’s received and glad that he is now off the streets.”