A WOULD-BE raider was caught trying to break into family homes in the early hours of Boxing Day morning.
Gavin Thomas was spotted trying to turn door handles after walking down garden paths in Fieldway, Jarrow, in the early hours of December 26 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard none of the properties the 29-year-old tried had been left open and he was arrested when a passer-by saw what he was doing and alerted the police.
Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: “He accepted if he had gained entry he would have stolen items.”
No residents were disturbed during the incident.
Thomas, of Whitehead Street, South Shields, admitted attempted burglary.
Judge Penny Morland sentenced him to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with programme and supervision requirements.
The judge told him: “You have been locked up since December 27 and in the circumstances I am prepared to suspend the sentence.
“You have an opportunity. It is up to you if you use it or not.”
Vic Laffey, defending, said there were no confrontations with any householder during the attempted raids.