Shane Wear, 43, broke into the home in Culmington, near Ludlow, and took bracelets, bottles of perfume and an engagement ring. The victim faced a shock when she arrived home with her two children to find out what had happened, and called her husband and the police to come to their aid.
Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Wear, who was also sentenced for half a dozen thefts from the One Stop shop in Craven Arms, had 43 convictions for 143 offences including 15 burglaries during his life, and that his criminality spiralled further after his sister was murdered in 2009 and his brother died of MRSA.
Addressing the dwelling burglary, which took place on October 7 last year, prosecutor Maninder Chaggar told the court how the victim returned home to find glass strewn over the floor and her underwear emptied from a drawer onto her bed. The victim didn't know if the burglar was still inside the premises.
"The window had been smashed," she said. "She ran back outside and took both her children with her."
When her husband arrived, he checked the CCTV, which showed Wear in the house several hours earlier. The footage was passed on to the police, and an officer who'd had previous dealings with Wear recognised him. He was arrested three days later at the place he was staying in Dale Street, Craven Arms. Several items that were stolen were found there, as well as the clothing he wore while he carried the offence.
When Wear committed the burglary, he was on bail for the thefts from One Stop. Over the course of five weeks, he stole beer, bacon and cheese among other items in six separate thefts.
Wear, of no fixed abode, appeared via video link from HMP Hewell and pleaded guilty to burglary and six counts of theft.
Stephen Scully, defending, said that Wear had found himself in and out of prison due to heroin and crack cocaine addictions, and that he had a "terrible run of fortune", pointing to the deaths of his siblings. He said that Wear had engaged with a psychologist to try and tackle his problems.
Judge Anthony Lowe sentenced Wear to two years and 11 months in prison, and told him: "You are a persistent burglar, and people who have their houses broken into have a sense of insecurity that usually requires them to move, and make them feel as though they are not particularly safe.
"It is a never-ending cycle that, at the moment, shows no sign of ending. Only you know whether you are capable of stopping this."