A HAPLESS raider was arrested after inadvertently leaving his full name and address behind for police at the home he had just burgled, a court was told.

Malcolm Pyke broke into a garage in East Herrington area of Sunderland in the early hours of March 6 and made off with £150 worth of cleaning machinery.

But in his haste to get away, Pyke accidentally left a black rucksack behind at the scene which contained personal letters displaying his full name and address.

After being alerted to the break-in, the 43-year-old’s helpful clues allowed grateful officers to quickly track down and arrest him.

Pyke, of Tanfield Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of burglary and two offences of theft of property in relation to a crime spree in Palmersville, North Tyneside, which even saw him snatch clothes from a family’s washing line.

A judge subsequently sentenced Pyke to four years in jail.

Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith, of Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, said: “Malcolm Pyke is a prolific thief who has consistently proven a disregard for the law and the welfare of others.

“Unfortunately for him, his latest offence which was fairly unsophisticated saw him leave behind a number of personal items which directed officers straight to his front door.

“There we found the stolen machinery which he had dumped outside of his address and it was safely returned to the victim.

“Burglary is such an intrusive crime that can have a corrosive impact on those who are victims to it, as well as the wider community. That’s why it’s important that the public see individuals like Pyke brought to justice and taken off our streets.”

Officers have reminded residents to take a few extra steps to deter opportunistic thieves as we head towards the winter months.