After kicking his way into the rooms of five students while they were away over Christmas, homeless Paul Dean stole a coat from a Leamington house he had broken into to sleep.
And he was jailed for three years and four months after Warwick Crown Court heard that he had no fewer than 17 previous domestic burglaries among the 94 offences on his record going back to 1981.
Dean, 48, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to six charges of burglary, one of going equipped for theft and asked for three other offences to be taken into consideration.
Prosecutor Mark Phillips said that five students who had individual rooms in a terraced house in Melville Road, Earlsdon, Coventry, left for the Christmas break on December 20.
When some of them returned on January 2 they found the house had been broken into and the doors to all five of their rooms had been kicked open.
Property including televisions, speakers, perfume and a money box had been taken from three of the rooms.
Meanwhile a woman had left her home in Shrubland Street, Leamington, to go away for a break over the New Year, and as she let herself back in on January 7 she heard a noise from the living room.
There was no-one in the room when she went in, but the television was still on and it appeared someone had been living there in her absence.
Various items of property were missing, including a coat which Dean, whose blood had been found in the bathroom, was wearing when he was arrested a few days later.
When he was questioned, Dean said he could not remember anything about the Melville Road burglaries.
But in relation to the house in Shrubland Street he said he had been told it was vacant and that he could go and live there with others who were already at the address.
Tim Sapwell, defending, said the blight of Dean’s life had been a heroin addiction, and in October last year he had become homeless after falling behind with his rent.
Jailing Dean, Judge Alan Parker said he rejected the suggestion that he should treat the Melville Road offences in the same way as entering different rooms in a family home.