After trying without success to collect money from his customers window cleaner Daniel Cox broke into a house and stole jewellery which he planned to sell to raise the cash he needed.
But he was arrested after a neighbour’s description led to a police officer recognising him as the intruder.
And Cox, 34, of Craven Street, Southam, was jailed for 29 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to that burglary and asking for two others to be taken into consideration.
On January 19 last year, Cox knocked on the door of a house in Troutbeck Avenue, Leamington.
Once he had established no-one was at home, he went round to the back of the house where he threw a slab through the dining room window and climbed inside and stole a pencil case with a number of items of jewellery in it.
But a neighbour had heard Cox break in and they alerted the police after seeing him fleeing from the property.
Cox was arrested by a plain clothes officer shortly after.
Nick Devine, defending, said: “While he was a window cleaner at the time, this was not a property on his round or one he knew about.
“There’s no suggestion the premises were targeted.
“It was a daytime burglary of an unoccupied premises, all the property was recovered, and he made a full admission.”
But Recorder Satinder Hunjan QC commented: “He was somewhat caught red-handed.”
Jailing Cox, Recorder Hunjan told him: “You knocked on the door to ensure nobody was in, and you then went to the rear of the house and used a concrete slab and smashed the window.
“Unfortunately for you, a neighbour managed to alert the police and you were caught nearby.”