A drug addict who went on a housebreaking spree to fund his habit was caught when he left his passport in a victim’s house.
Robert Brechin, 31, stole games consoles, smart phones, cameras, jewellery and more than £600 in cash from three properties in the space of two weeks.
But his criminal career was cut short when the occupants of one of the homes stumbled across his travel document while cleaning the house.
Fiscal depute Felicity Merson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “The crime was discovered that evening when the family noticed a wheelie bin had been placed outside a window.
“Various items including jewellery and £540 in cash were found to be missing. When tidying up the occupants found a passport in the accused’s name.”
Brechin will not be needing his passport for a while after Sheriff Graeme Buchanan sentenced him to 28 months in jail on Friday for the three housebreaking offences. He was also ordered to serve four months of a previous sentence.
The sheriff said: “This is the third time that you have preyed on individuals in crimes of this nature. These are serious offences which caused great upset to the victims.”
Brechin, a prisoner at HMP Perth, first broke into a house in North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, on January 6.
He also admitted similar break-ins in Moir Crescent on January 10 and Fowler Avenue on January 12.
The court was told that he was caught red-handed during the second break-in when the family returned home.
He tried to escape with a bag full of computer games, but the holdall split and its contents spilled across the road.
Police caught up with Brechin on January 20, using the information in his passport.
He made a full admission of his crimes and said he had committed the offences to fund his drug use.
Defence agent John Ferry said: “All of these matters were committed to fund his drug habit. His drugs of choice were heroin and valium.”