Mark McDonald (24) stole cash and a set of car keys from the house but his early morning crime was interrupted when the owner returned to catch him in the act.
McDonald, 217 Grahams Road, Falkirk, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last week having pled guilty to the theft he committed at Sinclair Crescent, Denny on October 26, 2014, and breaking into garages in Abbotsgrange Road, Grangemouth on September 11, 2014.
Sioban Monks, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The incident occurred at about 6am. One of the householders took his dog out for a walk, closing the door but not locking it.
“Five minutes later he returned and saw the door was open and he noticed the drawers had been rifled through. Then the accused appeared from the hallway.
“He said his name was Mark and he was drunk and had walked into the wrong house. The female occupant of the house came downstairs to see what was going on and the accused made off at that point.”
On another occasion McDonald caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to garages in an attempt to steal goods contained within.
Neil Hay, defence solicitor, said: “It must have been a very frightening experience for the householder. Mr McDonald has no previous convictions before these incidents and he has been off good behaviour since.
“At the time of these offences he had just lost his two grandparents. He had stopped taking legal highs completely by the end of 2013. He was using drink and drugs to excess and the removal of the drugs and drink has led to his good behaviour.
“He now looks after his mother at home.”
Sheriff James Tierney placed McDonald on a community payback order for eight months with the condition he complete 130 hours unpaid work in that time and pay fines totalling £350 at £10 per fortnight.