A burglar caught in Sleaford carried out raids on homes after building up a £10,000 gambling debt, Lincoln Crown Court was told yesterday (Tuesday).
Tomas Giedraitis broke into two houses within an hour in Cambridgeshire before moving north the following day to target a property in Sleaford.
David Allan, prosecuting, said that Giedraitis carried out his first burglary at the home of an 86 year old widow in The Avenue, March.
He knocked on the front door and when his victim answered there was no-one there.
Mr Allan said “She saw a card had been left on the floor. Then she heard a noise coming from her bathroom. She went into the bathroom and found the defendant in the process of climbing through the window. When he saw her he climbed out and ran off.”
Just 50 minutes later Giedraitis used a screwdriver to force his way into a house in March Road, Wimblington. He stole £15,000 worth of property including jewellery, computer equipment and a camera.
The following day Giedraitis was seen acting suspiciously outside a house in Boston Road, Sleaford.
Mr Allan said Giedraitis approached the property with another man who knocked at the front door while Giedraitis went to the back of the building.
A witness saw him attempt to force a window with a screwdriver before smashing his way in. Police were called but he fled empty handed when he realised officers were on their way.
Police arrested him nearby after he matched the description of the burglar and he later confessed when he was interviewed saying he had gambling debts of £10,000.
Giedraitis, 21, of Rose Fair Close, Wisbech, admitted two burglaries on May 14 and a further burglary on May 15. He was jailed for 28 months and ordered to pay a £900 Criminal Courts Charge and a £120 victim surcharge. He also faces deportation to his home country of Lithuania when he has served his sentence.
Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending, said Giedraitis did not have a past history of committing burglary but got himself into financial difficulties.
He said: “He came here three years ago and worked at first in a freezer store and then with an agency but the amount of work he has received has dropped off.
“The defendant speaks of getting himself into financial difficulties having taken out a loan for his gambling problems.
“He is remorseful. There was no attempt to hide what he had done.
“He is in a relationship and they have a young child. If he receives a sentence of 12 months or more his life is going to be turned upside down. He is going to be deported.”