Four burglars who jogged a mile from the scene of their crime were caught in their pre-booked getaway taxi.
After fleeing a bungalow empty-handed, the men ran to a spot in the Tea Green area of Luton where they had arranged to meet the taxi.
It took nine minutes to jog through deserted streets at the height of lockdown, Luton Crown Court heard.
By the time they got in the taxi, police were on the scene and stopped the car.
Michael Anderson, 21, Leroy Cariata, 26, Kenny Caprani, 22, and Nico Harrington-Brown, 19, pleaded guilty to burglary.
Their crime was described in court as "botched and ill-planned" and lacking "sophistication".
Prosecutor Gerard Renouf said, just before midnight on 30 April, residents saw all four wearing face masks on the driveway of a property where a husband and wife lived with their adult son.
The men forced their way in the front door despite the family's attempts to stop them.
Mr Renouf said they were all shouting "where is the JD bag?".
They left minutes later having failed to find the item.
What the burglars had been looking for is still unknown as they have never answered any questions during police interviews, said the prosecutor.
Anderson, of Brays Road, Stopsley, Bedfordshire, and Cariata of Polstead Way, Clacton, Essex, were each jailed for two years and four months.
Caprani of Kingland Close, Luton, who also admitted possessing a class B drug, was given a 24-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
Harrington-Brown of Solway Road North, Luton, was given a suspended 24-month sentence.
Caprani and Harrington-Brown will also have to complete rehabilitation programmes, keep a curfew and carry out unpaid work.
Judge Mark Bishop told the gang: "There can be few more terrifying experiences than to have four hooded men kicking at your front door at midnight and then demanding something you didn't have."
- 10 January