A serial burglar who stole spectacles and electrical equipment worth thousands of pounds has been jailed.

Thomas Howden, 34, began his stealing spree on January 8 when he entered a business premises in Trinity Street, Peterborough, leaving with multiple laptop computers.

He returned to the same business in the early hours of the following morning with an unknown accomplice. He left with more electrical items and his accomplice was seen carrying a television away from the scene.

Later that day, at about 7.40pm, Howden returned for a third time, on this occasion stealing another large television.

On January 27 , Howden went to a branch of Boots in Queensgate, Peterborough, where he stole two large boxes of Yankee candles.

Then, on February 1, Howden went to Waitrose, in Mayors Walk, Peterborough, where he stole two bottles of alcohol.

On February 3, Howden returned to the business premises in Trinity Street for a fourth time at about 4.20am. This time he left with a rucksack containing more electrical items.

The following day, he broke into an opticians in Cumbergate, Peterborough, before filling a backpack with glasses and leaving the area.

Blood found at the scene was forensically tested and retuned a positive match for Howden’s DNA.

The total value of stolen items and damage caused was more than £39,000.

Howden, of no known address, admitted seven counts of burglary and two of shoplifting.

Yesterday (Monday March 20) at Cambridge Crown Court he was jailed for a year.

PC Shakira Munday said: “Howden repeatedly stole from businesses with no thought about the impact his crimes were having on other people.

“As well as stealing from the opticians, he caused significant damage to the shop as he smashed his way in.

“A lot of work went into this investigation to compile the necessary evidence to link Howden to all the burglaries. I’m pleased he’s now been jailed for his crimes.

“We’re working hard to tackle burglary as we look to make Cambridgeshire even safer for both residents and businesses.”