A man carried out a further spate of burglaries after being given bail for his part in a conspiracy to burgle houses in three counties.
And among Curtis Flint’s targets was the Wolston home of a former Rugby mayor, a judge has heard.
And Jailing Flint for five years, Judge Robert Orme at Warwick Crown Court said he appeared to have deliberately set out on a career as a burglar in his early teens.
Flint, 20, who has been living at a hostel in Nuneaton, had denied conspiring to burgle houses and 11 charges of burglary.
But as he was about to stand trial he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy, four of the burglary charges and two offences of handling property taken during other break-ins.
Prosecutor Jonathan Eley said Flint had admitted the conspiracy charge on the basis that he had taken part or handled property from seven burglaries or attempted burglaries.
They involved mainly large detached houses in Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.
His targets, from where he stole jewellery and other items worth a total of around £12,500, included a house in Dyers Lane, Wolston, from where he stole watches anda medal belongling to a former Rugby mayor.
Following his arrest and remand on bail to the hostel, he concentrated on houses within a two-mile radius in Nuneaton.
In several of his burglaries he got a knife from the kitchen before heading to the master bedroom, and Mr Eley said: “The Crown say that is just in case someone comes back or there is someone in the property he does not know about.”
Mr Eley added that Flint, had a number of previous convictions for burglary going back to when he was just 14.
Andrew Tucker, defending, conceded: “Plainly this is a catalogue of very serious offending, and he understands the outcome of this sentencing hearing.
“He was released from a three-year sentence and had no means to support himself and had the company of friends who were an extremely bad influence; and he also had an expensive cocaine habit and no legitimate means to support it.”