Police said they arrested habitual burglar Timothy Mcleod, 46, after their examination of the handkerchief turned up traces of his DNA, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
Mcleod has been ordered to spend 2 1/2 years behind bars after confessing to two counts of burglary and handling stolen goods.
"He was caught through DNA identification after he left a handkerchief in the kitchen," said investigator Catherine Stacey. "He had a hanky with him and he was stupid enough to leave it behind."
Mcleod was on parole from a four-year prison sentence when the burglary took place Oct. 14 in Portsmouth, officials said.
Judge Roger Hetherington said he had no choice but to send Mcleod back to jail.
"My primary duty must be to reflect that you have committed these further offenses," the judge was quoted as saying. "I would be failing in my duty if I allowed the public to be put at risk by giving you a community order."