A CAREER criminal was caught out after a burglary victim spotted her stolen engagement ring for sale in a pawn shop.
Steven Dickson, 32, who has convictions for 158 previous crimes, was on bail when he broke into the home in First Avenue, Havant.
He fled with a box of jewellery worth £2,500, an iPad, and other goods in the raid.
But Dickson was caught after the victim saw her ring for sale in a Havant shop several days after the burglary and alerted police.
Now Dickson, of Parkside, Havant, has been jailed for 18 months.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard his fingerprints were found on a box at the burglary victim’s home.
Two days later he had targeted a room at the The Bear Hotel in East Street, Havant, and fled with an iPad.
However on that occasion he had left a fingerprint on a window frame.
Less than a week later, Dickson entered a shop in Chichester and attempted to steal an Apple MacBook worth £1,500.
But he was forced to drop the computer after trying to run off with it and realising it was attached to a display.
Dickson tried to make off on a bike but a quick-thinking member of the public put his foot on it.
He fled on foot but was arrested nearby a short time later and taken back to the shop, where CCTV revealed his bungled burglary attempt.
Howard Barrington-Clark, defending, said since being assessed by probation Dickson had had a ‘long, hard think’ about his actions. He said: ‘When these offences occurred he was in a chaotic downward spiral of appalling drug abuse that should have killed him, and he was thieving, burgling, anything to get the drugs.’
Dickson admitted two counts of burglary and one attempted theft between October 17 and October 24 last year.
He admitted 13 other offences which were taken into consideration.
Addressing Dickson, judge Ian Pearson, sentencing, said: ‘You are a prolific offender. All of these offences were in fact committed whilst you were on bail.’
Speaking of the house burglary, judge Pearson said: ‘The victim there has suffered a very unhappy effect of the burglary and does not feel safe in her own house.’