An opportunistic burglar, with a ‘dreadful’ record, has been jailed after he climbed through an open window to steal a student’s laptop and Fitbit.

Thomas Leonard was caught on CCTV prowling the streets of Middlesbrough town centre looking for easy targets when he spotted the flat’s open window.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he was in and out within seconds after the student heard someone in his flat and came out of the bathroom to confront the man.

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The judge heard how the £1,000 laptop was returned to the victim following the defendant’s arrest and how he had 27 convictions for 58 offences, the majority of which were for dishonesty.

The Northern Echo: Thomas LeonardThomas Leonard (Image: Cleveland Police)

Leonard, of Letitia Street, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to burglary on the flat on Borough Road, Middlesbrough, from May 5 this year.

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Simon Walker, mitigating, said: “The burglary was entirely opportunistic, he was up to no good, he has to accept that. He saw an open window and there was no sophisticated planning.”

Judge Jonathan Carroll told the defendant that his record was ‘dreadful’ as he jailed him for 22 months after he raided the student's flat.

He said: “You were out that morning looking for opportunities to steal. You were seen on CCTV trying car doors and then you chanced upon the open window and took the opportunity to burgle the flat.”