Following an argument with his girlfriend at Leamington railway station, a man stormed off and decided to drive home – in a car he took after breaking into a nearby house.
But after Adam Sherry got into the house in Leamington, he also helped himself to a drink and loaded everything from a ski jacket to a safe into the car before driving away.
Unfortunately for him, he ran out of petrol, and his attempts to get fuel led to the police being called and most of his £60,000 haul being recovered.
Sherry (34) of Jasmine Walk, Banbury, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the burglary, taking the Mercedes car without consent and driving while disqualified.
After hearing he was a ‘third strike’ burglar, the judge jailed him for 876 days – or just under two years and five months, which represents a three-year term with a discount for his plea.
Prosecutor Ryan Hodgkinson said that on October 9 Sherry got into the back garden of a house in Leamington, and used a concrete ornament to smash a window before climbing in.
Once inside the three-storey semi, the home of a couple who were in the Lake District to celebrate their 10th anniversary, he helped himself to a drink and then went through every room.
Sherry stole a wide variety of property including a safe containing cash, jewellery, watches and sensitive documents including the couple’s passports.
He also took handbags, men’s suits, a cordless vacuum cleaner, a ski jacket and other clothing, a purse and the keys to a VW car and a Mercedes, into which he put his haul.
He then drove off, but ran out of petrol and tried to persuade someone to sell him a petrol can before abandoning the car and most of the property and getting a taxi home.
His actions had aroused suspicion, and after finding documents in the Mercedes which helped them track the owner, the police contacted him to say it had been recovered.
He and his wife, who were on the top of a mountain at the time, had a two-hour walk and then a four-hour drive to get home before discovering they had been burgled.
Sherry, whose previous convictions included two for burglary, but who had been out of trouble since his release from a 69-month sentence imposed in 2015, was arrested after being identified from a CCTV recording.
When he was interviewed, he admitted the offences, and said that at the time he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and had had an argument with his girlfriend at Leamington railway station.
He said he broke into the house to get the keys to the car, but then took the other property after having a drink.
Andrew Wilkins, defending, said Sherry had been getting his life back together and working as a steel erector, and was ‘thoroughly confused about why he’s taken this step back.’
Jailing Sherry, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “I don’t know what got into you that day, because you were doing well until then.
“You had kept out of trouble since you were released in 2019, and on this day you blew it all by taking this massive step back.
“No-one could say this was a planned or sophisticated offence, and you didn’t get away with much that you had taken.”