John Boothby, 54, began chatting to his first victim about leaflets on 20 July over the front garden gate of her Monument Street home, before being ushered to leave.
The 84-year-old woman carried on her day as normal, taking a nap on her sofa later in the afternoon, when she awoke to find Boothby in her house.
When questioning him as to what he was doing, Boothby apologised and left the house in a hurry, taking the woman’s handbag with him but dropping it in the front garden as he left.
Noticing drips coming through her ceiling, the woman made her way upstairs where she found her bath overflowing, the taps still running and Boothby’s t-shirt on the floor.
As well as running himself a bath, he stole a wedding ring belonging to his victim’s late mother, telegrams from 25 years’ worth of wedding anniversaries, including one from the Queen, and other jewellery.
Less than two hours after his attempt to have a bath, Boothby made his way into another house, this time in Dickens Street.
He managed to let himself into the downstairs bathroom, going unnoticed until the 80-year-old victim went to use the bathroom and discovered Boothby in the shower, partially clothed.
DC Adam Blake, from the Acquisitive Crime Team, said: “In all my years as a police officer I haven’t ever come across anyone quite like Boothby.
“He entered the homes of two elderly women who lived alone, to take advantage of their vulnerability.”
The following day (21 July), a 60-year-old woman found a set of keys inside a ‘bag for life’ inside her larder. Not recognising them, she thought it was odd but put it down to her cat having brought them in from the street.
When she found one of her handbags outside her back door with a pen positioned on top, she became suspicious and called police.
A fingerprint left on the pen was matched to that of Boothby, who had been arrested in connection with the burglaries in Eastfield the previous day.
Boothby, of no fixed address, was charged with three counts of burglary which he denied but was found guilty of all three counts following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court last week.
He appeared at the same court today (Tuesday 22 December) where he was sentenced to three years in prison.