A burglar who targeted five Corby homes in a three-week spree has been put behind bars.
Pawel Karczewski broke into his victim's houses while they were there and stole anything ranging from a bus pass to laptops.
But he was finally caught when he was arrested on a European arrest warrant and his fingerprints matched those found at some of the homes he had burgled, before many of the items were recovered from his address.
Yesterday (Thursday) his barrister tried to persuade a judge to give him another chance, claiming his actions came after he lost his job in lockdown and was struggling financially.
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But the judge jailed the 28-year-old for 21 months after ruling there was no significant prospect of rehabilitation.
Northampton Crown Court heard that on June 22 he targeted the home of a retired couple in Rockingham Road, Cottingham, entering through an insecure conservatory window and taking two boxes of paperwork.
Days later, at about 2am on June 26, he burgled a house in Corby's Squire Close after going through an insecure door.
One victim had a rucksack, purse, laptop and airpod earphones taken, with her friend who was staying over having bank cards and her driving licence stolen. One of her cards was used by Karczewski hours later at a nearby garage for a fraudulent £1.25 purchase.
Prosecuting, Esther Harrison said that just over a week later, on July 3, an elderly couple were burgled in Vian Way.
The court heard Karczewski, of Scotter Walk, is believed to have entered through the front door before conducting a messy search, leaving cupboards open and items strewn across the floor.
Items stolen included cheque books, store cards, a bus pass, two mobile phones, a tablet and a purse.
The following night, in Nelson Road, the occupants of a house heard their gate rattle and what sounded like someone trying their door handle at about midnight.
Doorbell camera footage later showed the burglar was responsible - with a hat he was pictured wearing recovered from his home.
Ms Harrison told the court of the impact the incident had on a woman who lived there.
She said: "She was left unnerved by the incident because she was pregnant at the time.
"She had been the victim of a previous burglary."
Just over a week after that, on July 15, Karczewski committed his fifth offence in the early hours of the morning in Lowry Close.
After he entered through a window he took items including a laptop, bank cards and driving licence - but his palm prints were found at the point of entry and in the living room.
And it was those prints which were the important breakthrough after he was arrested on a European warrant and his fingerprints were taken - which matched the culprit in at least two of the Corby burglaries.
Many of the stolen items were recovered on September 2 from a locked room in his home.
Karczewski, who appeared over videolink from HMP Peterborough, initially denied the offences before admitting all charges before magistrates.
The court heard he had previously been convicted of burglary in Poland.
Mitigating, Brad Lawlor said Karczewski's crimes were opportunistic and that he was under the influence of amphetamine at the time.
He said the burglar had been in custody since September and argued the case for a suspended sentence with rehabilitation activities.
He said: "This string of offences are borne out of Karczewski's inability to deal with a number of external pressures at the time.
"In particular [there are] financial difficulties resulting from his loss of employment at the start of the lockdown."
Sentencing, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo said Karczewski's crimes crossed the custody threshold - and ruled that he would not suspend the sentence.
He said: "I do not consider it appropriate to suspend the sentence because in my view there is no significant prospect of rehabilitation."
Karczewski was told he will spend half of his 21-month sentence in custody and may be returned to Poland when he is released.