A burglar from Croydon who claimed he broke into a Sevenoaks property with socks on his hands because he was running out of fuel has been jailed.

Tommy Wilkins, 27, told police he was searching for a jerry can, after a hire car he was driving was spotted at the scene of the crime on Fairseat Lane. 

Using a pair of socks as improvised gloves to avoid leaving a DNA or fingerprints traces, Wilkins stole two watches, jewellery and a mobile phone on May 31.

He was arrested on June 4, after officers potted him driving the sighted vehicle.

During interview Wilkins, of Capri Road, admitted entering the address, but insisted he remained in the kitchen searching for a jerry can.

He claimed several items of suspected stolen jewellery, recovered by police, belonged to his girlfriend and protested that although he was a "petty thief" he was not a burglar.

Wilkins ultimately, pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on August 7 was sentenced to two years and five months imprisonment.

Detective Constable Bob Fursey of West Kent CID said: ‘Wilkins targeted an isolated property, covering his hands with socks in an effort to leave no fingerprints or traces of DNA, before rifling through his victim’s belongings searching for anything of value.

'He is a repeat offender whose actions have no doubt caused considerable distress and anxiety to the victim.

2People affected by burglary crime are often left dealing with the consequences a long time after the offence has been committed.

"Thankfully Wilkins was recognised and apprehended by patrols just days later and can no longer pose a threat to other people’s homes.’