Michael Milligan carefully checked out when the houses would be unoccupied — in one case through the death notice funeral date, in another with the family attending a religious festival and in another when an elderly occupant attended hospital appointments.
And jailing Milligan for 28 months today, Sheriff George Jamieson told him that he had caused the families extreme distress.
The 35-year-old, of Kirkpatrick Court, Dumfries, admitted breaking into a house at Woodgrove Avenue, Dumfries, and stealing around £6700 and jewellery, stealing power tools worth about £1000 from a house at Edinburgh Road in the town, and breaking into houses at Corbelly Hill in Dumfries and at Southwick and in each case stealing jewellery.
The incidents took place between November 2013 and April last year.
A solicitor said that the offences were committed at a low point in in Milligan’s life when he had a severe heroin addiction and carried out to supply his habit.