Azad Khdir targeted the property on Dickinson Court, College Grove, Wakefield, on May 10 this year while the owner was out of the property.
Leeds Crown Court heard Khdir stole a box containing Â£2 coins and 50p pieces that the victim had spent four years collecting. Khdir also stole a laptop which contained sentimental photos and sensitive information.
Khdir, 37, was identified as a suspect after his blood was found at the scene.
Khdir, of Beaumont Street, Stanley, pleaded guilty to burglary but denied taking the coins or the laptop. He gave evidence at a hearing to determine the facts of the case and claimed he had targeted the property with another man in order to steal cigarettes.
Recorder Ian Harris rejected Khdir’s account, telling the defendant he was satisfied that the coins and the laptop had been taken.
Recorder Harris said: “Those who enter other people’s property and treat it as their own, causing damage and taking items that are of considerable sentimental, if not financial, value can only expect an immediate prison sentence.”
The court heard Khdir has previous convictions and has served a prison sentence for house burglary.
Michael Devlin, mitigating, said Khdir had moved to the UK from Iraq in 2001 but had been unable to work.
Mr Devlin said his client had been desperate for money.
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