A startled householder was awoken by the sound of a burglar climbing through his kitchen window.
Raymond Peacock - who has 100 previous convictions - later claimed he thought the house in Everett Street, Hartlepool, belonged to a friend who had recently died, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The victim was in bed at about 6am when he heard a noise downstairs,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting. “He went down to find his kitchen window smashed, and Peacock trying to climb through it.
“The victim went upstairs to get his phone to call the police, but was so shaken by what he had seen he was unable to dial 999.
“Returning downstairs, he was further surprised to see Peacock in the living room with his hand on a mountain bike.
“Peacock said: ‘sorry mate’, but still took the mountain bike with him as he left.
“The victim said later he had been shocked and frightened by his ordeal.”
Peacock, 49, of Everett Street, Hartlepool, admitted burglary on August 28, and he admitted being in breach of a suspended sentence for burglary.
“That offence took place at the Tees Bay Retail Park,” said Ms Haigh. “Peacock again smashed a window, this time of a portable building.
“He stole biscuits, milk, yogurt and a drill.”
Andrew Teate defending, said his client was realistic and knew he would be going back to prison.
“He did think the house belonged to a deceased friend,” Mr Teate added. “His intention was to retrieve clothing which he had left there.
“The mountain bike was restored to its owner, and he did make full admissions to the police.
“His last dwelling house burglary was 21 years ago, so he does not habitually break into houses.”
Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Peacock for 18 months.
The judge told him: “The householder was so paralysed by fear he was unable to operate his telephone.
“Despite him confronting you, you still made off with his mountain bike.
“To make matters worse, you had only recently been given a suspended sentence, and you have a dreadful record.
“About all that can be said in your favour is you pleaded guilty.”