A hapless burglar has been jailed after his victim used their iPhone tracker to guide police who found the stolen mobile hidden in his sock.
Burglar Andrew Tobin was already serving a suspended sentence for a previous attempted break-in when he he crept into a couple’s home as they slept.
“The victim was able to activate the phone’s find my phone feature,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court heard.
“Police followed the signal to a nearby street where they found Andrew Tobin.
“He was stopped, and officers found the stolen iPhone in his sock.
“At first, he claimed he had recently bought the phone from someone called Ziggy.
“Clothing used in the burglary was found at Tobin’s house.”
The court heard a neighbour of the victim in Aldeburgh Close, Hartlepool, has an outside CCTV camera which caught Tobin trying door handles in the early hours.
“He has a distinctive walk,” added Ms Haigh. “Among the items taken was a handbag, wallet and keys.
“Tobin is also due to be sentenced for a separate offence of handling stolen goods.
“He was present with two other men who tried to sell a stolen Samsung television in Cash Converters in Hartlepool.”
Tobin, 35, of Derby Street, Hartlepool, admitted handling stolen goods on June 24, and he admitted burglary and attempted burglary on August 14.
The court was told the offences put him in breach of a six-month suspended sentence imposed by Hartlepool Magistrates for attempted burglary of a convenience store.
Andrew Teate, defending, said in miitgation: “Mr Tobin is entirely realistic about the outcome of today’s proceedings.
“His offending had slowed down a lot, but he returned to using heroin, and he returned to his former associates.
“Mr Tobin has his problems, he was a victim of a stabbing some time ago.
“The physical scars are healing, but the mental ones are not.”
Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Tobin for 32 months.
The judge told him: “Hartlepool Magistrates took a chance on you with that suspended sentence, but you did not take it.
“The courts have a duty to the public to make it clear to people such as yourself that a suspended sentence means what it says.
“The offence of burglary was a serious one, carried out at night while the occupants slept upstairs.
“You should be aware that with your record you will now get a minimum of three years if you commit another burglary.”