A teenage burglar who ransacked a home in Leighton Buzzard while the owners were on holiday –forcing them to cut their break short – was locked up for 21 months today(Tuesday).
Luke Connors, 19, jemmied his way into the house in Orchard Drive before emptying every drawer.
He stole 700 euros, two gold pendants, a ring, chain and pewter tumblers, Luton Crown Court heard.
The family claimed £4,000 insurance loss, but some of the items taken were of sentimental value and irreplaceable.
A neighbour called the owners to tell them there had been a break-in and their holiday was cut short.
Connors was arrested after his blood was found in the hallway and on bed sheets.
Connors, of Attewood Road, Northolt, Middlesex, appeared via a video link from Peterborough after admitting the burglary, which he carried out on 25 July last year.
He admitted breaching his bail by not turning up for court in January this year.
In addition, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, theft of an Audi and going equipped for theft in Feltham, Middlesex on 31 May this year.
He had taken the Audi from a driveway and, when pursued by the police, drove on the wrong side of the road and through red lights. Officers gave up the chase because they considered it too dangerous to continue.
Connors abandoned the Audi in a car park and called for a cab. The police saw the cab in the area, stopped it and arrested him. A crow bar and sledge hammer were recovered from the Audi.
In 2015 Connors had received a referral order for attempted burglary.
Bill Maley, defending, said Connors was still young, being 20 next month. He said he had a young son, who had been ill and was being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Mr Maley accepted the custody threshold had been passed, but asked for a suspended sentence.
“He has been in custody since June and has detoxified himself.
“I am asking for a final chance to turn his life around and become a productive member of society,” he said.
But Judge Lynn Tayton QC said she was passing an immediate custodial sentence because he had breached his previous referral order, had failed to attend court and committed offences whilst on bail.
She sentenced him to 18 months for the burglary, 8 months concurrent for the theft of the car, 8 months consecutive for the dangerous driving, one month concurrent for going equipped and one month consecutive for failing to attend court, making a total of 27 months in a Young Offender Institute.
The judge also banned Connors from driving for 26 months.