Christian Negru, 22, smashed a window to get into the property on Brackenwood Drive, Leeds, around 5pm on February 27 this year while the house was empty and in darkness.
Leeds Crown Court heard the property had been left locked a short time earlier by one of the residents when he went out with friends.
Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said the man returned to his home with his four friends a short time later after he forgot something and saw a torch flickering into the house.
Mr Ahmed said the man thought his mother was inside the property but did not get a reply.
The man then shouted to his friends as Negru clibed out of the window and tried to run away.
The men managed to detain Negru and was found in possession of £1,200 worth of jewellery.
Police were called and Negru fully admitted his involvement in the break-in.
He pleaded guilty to burglary.
Nicoletta Alistari, mitigating, said: “When he was caught by the complainant and his friends he received quite a beating.
“That is not a reason for him to complain because he takes the view that that was a lesson.”
Miss Alistari said Negru, of Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, had come to the UK from Romania just three days before the incident but was unable to find work.
She said Negru committed the break-in in order to fund his return to eastern Europe.
Negru was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 140 hours unpaid work.