A prolific burglar who returned to a crime after losing his job in the building trade has been jailed for three and a half years.
Luke Thompson, 22, was caught after a police community support officer saw him fleeing the scene of a burglary in Pudsey and recognised his face from a police station poster.
Leeds Crown Court heard Thompson and another man went into a house on Valley Road while the female occupant was alone upstairs on January 18.
Her husband had gone out to collect their daughter and left the side door unlocked.
The victim heard voices coming from downstairs and saw Thompson in the kitchen before he ran off. Her handbag and keys had been disturbed.
Thompson was recognised by a PCSO called to the scene.
He was arrested at his home later that day and clothes found at the address matched those described by the burglary victim.
Thompson, of Thornfield Avenue, Farnley, refused to comment during police interview.
He pleaded guilty to burglary,
Phillip Adams, prosecuting, told said Thompson had a number of previous conviction for house break-ins. In 2006 he was jailed for four years and received a 33-month sentence in 2008.
David Tyrer, mitigating, said Thompson had been released from jail in March 2010.
While in custody he had been on courses to obtain skills in the building industry and immediately managed to find work.
He had earned a good income for six months and was able to support his partner and children until he was laid off as a result of the recession.
He carried out the burglary on “the spur of the moment” after noticing the door to the property was open.
Mr Tyrer said the fact that someone was in the house at the time ofthe burglary was an aggravating feature and Thompson accepted that he would be facing a prison sentence.
Jailing Thompson, judge Kerry Macgill said: “Many people struggle with their finances but they do not resort to burgling people’s homes.
“The best way to keep you out of trouble is to keep you in custody and keep you out of people’s homes.”