A hapless burglar was caught by police after he left his full name and address behind at the scene of the crime.
Malcolm Pyke stole £150 worth of cleaning machinery from a garage in East Herrington, Sunderland, but left behind his rucksack containing personal letters which had his details on the envelopes.
The 43-year-old, of Tanfield Road, Sunderland, admitted the March break-in when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, Northumbria Police said.
He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of burglary and two offences of theft of property in relation to a crime spree in Palmersville, North Tyneside, which even saw him snatch clothes from a family’s washing line.
After Pyke was jailed for four years, Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith said: “Malcolm Pyke is a prolific thief who has consistently proven a disregard for the law and the welfare of others.
“Unfortunately for him, his latest offence which was fairly unsophisticated saw him leave behind a number of personal items which directed officers straight to his front door.”