Philip Moore, 21, faced dozens of charges built up over the past two years.
He was finally arrested by gardaí last week following a litany of crimes including burglaries, theft, obstructing gardaí, being drunk, driving without insurance, and skipping bail.
Moore, of Crucknakeenan, Annagry, handed in €700 compensation to the victims of his thefts at Letterkenny District Court yesterday.
The court heard goods to valuing €7,725 were taken during his crime spree.
Moore pleaded guilty to 48 charges including burgling holidays homes and breaking into numerous cars across west Donegal. He has a number of previous convictions and has already been banned from driving.
Insp Goretti Sheridan told Judge Paul Kelly that Moore had been involved in a crime spree in west Donegal over a six-month period in 2012.
Others had been involved, she said, and the rest of the gang had been dealt with through the district courts or juvenile courts. Moore had been involved in all of the thefts. The inspector opposed bail based on Moore’s previous convictions and failures to appear in court.
However, defence solicitor Patsy Gallagher told Judge Kelly that Moore wished to return to London where he was earning £500 (about €636) per week as a tunneller so he could gather up the money to pay compensation.
Mr Gallagher added: “He was away for a period of time working on oil rigs off the Shetland Islands. At the time of most of the offences he had fallen in with the wrong crowd. He is attempting to put his life back together. He was born here, was away in Scotland for a few years, and then came back here.
“He has a good steady job now in London and wishes to continue that.”
Mr Gallagher said his client would return to court on March 2 from London with a further €2,500 compensation for his victims.
Judge Kelly questioned why compensation had not been paid previously.
Mr Gallagher said Moore had been sending money home to pay for home repairs for his parents.
The judge said that he should have been paying his victims, not his family.
However, he postponed sentence to allow Moore to pay compensation and he released Moore on bail to appear again at Letterkenny District Court on March 2.
He warned Moore that he should appear that day.
Judge Kelly ordered that the €700 handed into court should go the victim with the biggest loss from the thefts “as a down payment”.