The pair were spotted acting suspiciously near to the property in the village of Scotter, which led to the dog walker taking down the registration number of their transit van and reporting it to police officers.
Police later stopped the van in Gainsborough and recovered a stash of jewellery stolen from the property.
David Outterside, prosecuting, said the raid took place while the 84 year old victim was in hospital.
“The police discovered that her home had been burgled,” he said.
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“It had been subjected to an extremely untidy search with property and effects strewn everywhere.”
The two men inside the van later admitted they were responsible for the raid in Scotter.
Terry Woroch, 43, of Moor Top Road, Harworth, and James Martin, 32, of Welbeck Road, Harworth, each admitted burglary of the house in Gainsborough Road, Scotter, on 11th November 2013.
Woroch was jailed for two years and five months and Martin was jailed for two years.
Chris Geeson, for Woroch, said he had begun to sort his life out after being released in 2008 from his last prison sentence - but things fell apart when his relationship got into difficulties.
Mr Geeson said: “He was working and there was stability in his life.”
“Unfortunately things went wrong with his relationship.”
“He started going back to drugs again and then he committed this offence.”
Errol Ballentyne, for Martin, said he became addicted to heroin after being unable to cope when he lost his job.
He said the two men had been out looking for scrap metal during the day but that proved unfruitful.
Later they spotted the house and decided to carry out the burglary.