A serial burglar who broke a pharmacy to steal drugs was caught after dumping the stash in his car and leaving it parked just metres away from the store.
James Good, of Bywood Avenue, Ashburton, used bolt-cutters to break into Greenchem, on the same road, and take prescription medicine, a laptop and toiletries on February 27.
But officers called to the burglary arrested Good after finding the stolen haul and the bolt-cutters in the 29-year-old's nearby car.
They had been approached by a member of the public who had found toiletries in an alleyway close by and discovered the car while investigating.
After linking the vehicle to Good's address, they searched his house and found more stolen drugs and the laptop.
During police questioning Good admitted also burgling a pharmacy in Addington Road, South Croydon, two days earlier and committing 17 other burglaries.
Good was jailed for two years at Croydon Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary.
The judge took the further 17 burglaries into account when sentencing.
Detective Constable Gabriel Desouza, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "Good caused a terrible amount of damage and disruption to the various shops and pharmacies he targeted, not to mention the cost of the drugs and stock that he also stole from them.
"Thanks to the member of the public that alerted the officers to the discarded toiletries nearby, we were able to identify Good from his car and that coupled with the items found at his address, left him with little option than to admit to what he'd done."
- New housing campaign calls on homeowners to provide shelter for the homeless
- Croydon cat killer 'knee dropping' helpless victims to death
- Croydon students buck national trend with 'impressive' GSCE results
- Former Croydon headteacher facing jail after being found guilty of sexual activity with 14-year-old boy
- Lorry crashes into bus outside East Croydon station