Scott Baldwin suspected he had been burgled by someone he knew after they managed to break into his house without his dog barking.
His deductions led him to confront his nephew, Carl Nesbitt, who confessed to stealing £700 and a computer games console.
Sentencing Nesbitt, Judge Guy Whitburn said the crime read like the plot of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic Silver Blaze.
The judge said: “It was the dog that didn’t bark in the night as it knew full well who it was, just like in Sherlock Holmes.”
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Nesbitt, 21, had been socialising with his uncle at his home in Gateshead on the night of the burglary in January.
He left when Mr Baldwin went to bed at 12.30am but returned half an hour later to carry out the raid.
Although Mr Baldwin had heard a banging noise in the night, he had not bothered going to investigate because his dog had not stirred.
It was not until the following morning that Mr Baldwin discovered his house ransacked and the cash and Xbox console missing.
He confronted his nephew, who initially denied the burglary, but later confessed saying: “I’m sorry. I was put up to it.”
The events are reminiscent of the methods employed by Sherlock Holmes to solve the disappearance of a racehorse and the apparent murder of its trainer in Silver Blaze.
The fictional detective famously refers to the “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” to find the culprit in the 19th century crime thriller.
Nesbitt, of Chopwell, Gateshead, admitted burglary and was handed a 51-week suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 100 hours community service. …