Hapless thief Keith Watson waited until darkness fell to limp into a car park to pilfer from insecure vehicles – only to alert owners with the sound of his crutches striking the tarmac.
They looked out and saw the crook, who was also wearing a body brace after sustaining a serious back injury.
He was also heavily under the influence, having mixed a large quantity of alcohol with non-prescription valium tablets.
Officers swiftly descended upon McDonald Street in Dundee and found Watson still within one of the cars.
The city’s sheriff court was told that he had somewhat understandably been unable to make a swift escape and had submitted to arrest.
It emerged that Watson had targeted two vehicles, with the first netting him a selection of power tools, a radio, a mobile telephone and a number of coins.
A second car proved less fruitful, with just a plastic cover and some paperwork recovered by the officers when they apprehended him.
Solicitor Jim Laverty said the criminal endeavour had always been “doomed to failure” and was the culmination of a sad chapter in his client’s life.
“This had no chance of success,” he said.
“He had combined alcohol with valium and already suffered from significant mobility issues because of a serious back injury.
“The noise of walking about on crutches alerted neighbours who looked out to the car park and then called the police.
“The officers actually found him still in one of the vehicles and thankfully there was full recovery of all the items.
“This was doomed to failure as there was no way he could have made good his escape, such are his mobility issues.
Laverty told the court his client had been beset by personal problems and had almost “given up on life outside” and had effectively been on a “suicide mission” to get jailed.
He added that his client hoped to use his inevitable custodial sentence to “clean himself up” and hopefully address some of his substance misuse issues.
Watson, of Kirk Street, admitted stealing from two insecure cars on August 27.
He was jailed for eight months, having committed the offence within hours of his release on bail from the same court.
Sheriff Lorna Drummond said there was “no option other than jail”.