A burglar “driven by greed, not needs” targeted a retirement complex and an empty house where he stole a passport.

Patrik Volgyi, 23, had a steady job in a factory making pancakes when he burgled his first victim at Blake Gardens in Smithills, a complex mainly used by elderly people.

Bolton Crown Court heard how the elderly victim returned home on the afternoon of October 20 last year to find his home had been broken into.

Prosecutor John Richards said: “He came home at around 4pm and noticed his window was open.”

He added: “The victim found that the drawers in his bedroom had been opened and several items had been stolen.”

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Dressed in a black Under Armour top, Volgyi looked on silently via video link from prison as Mr Richards told the court he had stolen a laptop and two watches.

He also took told old smartphones, a Samsung tablet and a Toshiba camcorder all coming to a total value of around £520.

Police were called and took fingerprints, but before they could arrest Volgyi he went out burgling again, this time on Chorley Old Road in Doffcocker on December 4.

The house was unoccupied but used by its owner to store post and had been burgled before not long previously.

Volgyi, of Manchester Road, Great Lever, let himself in through a boarded up rear window but a neighbour chanced upon him while he was still in the house.

Mr Richards said: “He could see lights and hear noises from inside.”

He added: “The defendant could be seen trying to smash his way out of the front door.”

Police were called and found that Volgyi had moved a safe inside the house.

On arresting and searching him they found that he had stolen a passport from inside the house, while he was also caught with a woman’s driving licence that he claimed to have found.

Brought before Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court on December 6 Volgyi, who has a previous theft conviction in the UK and four previous convictions for 34 offences in his native Hungary, at first tried to deny his crimes.

But he eventually pleaded guilty to burglary of a dwelling, burglary of a non-dwelling and possessing another person’s identity documents when brought before the crown court.

Alex Beevers, defending, said: “These are unpleasant offences of course because they involve intrusion into one’s home.”

But he said that Volgyi’s eventual guilty plea showed a “very genuine remorse” and claimed he was “very sorry.”

Mr Beevers said that the 23-year-old had come to the UK in 2018 having trained as a carpenter and was in work while his partner was receiving Universal Credit when he committed his crimes.

He said: “He has stability in this country and has made a life for himself here, albeit a life that involves criminality.”

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But Mr Beevers admitted that the burglaries were carried out “for money, frankly.”

He added: “It was simply an opportunity to make a fast buck.”

But Judge Nicholas Clarke KC reminded the court that Volgyi’s crimes were “very serious” and reminded the defendant he had been working while his partner also received benefits.

He said: “Given your employment and the support she was receiving, needs did not drive this offending but greed.”

He added: “There is little by way of mitigation.”

Judge Clarke sentenced Volygi to a total of 15 months in prison.