A Penwortham man has been jailed for 12 months after stealing more than £5,500 of jewellery, cash and electrical items from a house in Leyland.
Brian Welsh, 53, of Riverside Road, managed to get hold of keys to the Farington Gate house after he learned that the residents were away on holiday.
The court heard the homeowner’s aunt was looking after the property while her niece was away between June 30 and July 6 2013.
Unknown to her, Welsh had taken the key and used it to access the house through the back door.
He stole gold jewellery, including a wedding and engagement ring, £300 cash and electrical items, to a total value of £5,615.
It is believed that Welsh sold the items on to pay off drugs-related debt.
Some of the jewellery has been recovered and returned to the victim by officers after it was found in Welsh’s car following his arrest.
Speaking after sentencing, DC Hanif Patel from Leyland CID said: “This was a planned and calculated burglary in which Welsh took advantage of having access to the house key, seeing it as his entry to the house where he took sentimental and electrical items worth thousands.
“What makes this worse is that the homeowner was away on holiday at the time of the theft and returned to her house to find it had been stripped of some personal items, most of which we haven’t unfortunately been able to trace.
“I hope that this sentence will bring her some form of closure, and let it also serve as a warning that burglars will be not be tolerated in Lancashire.
“We will find you and put you before the courts.”