A "reckless raider" inadvertently left his full name and address at the home he had just burgled, say police.
Malcolm Pyke broke into a garage in East Herrington in the early hours of March 6 and made off with £150 worth of cleaning machinery.
But he left behind a black rucksack, which contained personal letters displaying his full name and address.
Police were then able to quickly track him down and place him under arrest.
Pyke, of Tanfield Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on October 13.
He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of burglary and two offences of theft of property in relation to a crime spree in Palmersville, North Tyneside, which even saw him snatch clothes from a family’s washing line.
A judge subsequently sentenced Pyke to four years in jail.
Malcolm Pyke is a prolific thief who has consistently proven a disregard for the law and the welfare of others. Unfortunately for him, his latest offence which was fairly unsophisticated saw him leave behind a number of personal items which directed officers straight to his front door. There we found the stolen machinery which he had dumped outside of his address and it was returned to the victim.
Police are urging people to be vigilant over the coming winter months.