The description of Levi Miller's behaviour was given at Nottingham Crown Court which heard that he had spent seven of the last ten years in custody.
In his last burst of crime, he raided homes and took two cars.
Judge Steven Coupland told him: "This was all in a 24-hour period in March.
"This was a disturbing spate of criminality. Both vehicles received substantial damage before they were recovered and there was considerable inconvenience to the people whose cars they were."
The court was told that police officers checked Miller when he was taking items out of a burnt-out car on Lime Lane, Arnold at 3am on March 9.
Sarah Munro, prosecuting, told the court: "The police took him to Calverton and dropped him off in the early hours of the morning."
Later a Mini car was taken from a house in the village. Miller, 24, had got indoors and took the ignition keys. The vehicle ended up in a ditch.
Miss Munro said that he was finally detained at 8.45am at a house in Deanwood Crescent, Bilborough.
"There was a report of fighting but there was no fighting. It was the occupants of the house trying and managing to restrain him," she said.
Miller had caused £75 damage by kicking open the door of the Bilborough house. Repairs to one car added up to £17,000 while the other needed £2,000 of work.
"It was a devastating night for the various victims. High value property was stolen," said Miss Munro. Among them was a Gucci belt which he had when police checked him and which was spotted in the stolen Mini.
Miller, 24, admitted two burglaries; one theft; two charges of aggravated vehicle taking; having no driving licence or insurance.
Chris Brewin, mitigating, said: "He can't even explain himself why he went on this crazy spree.
"This young man has spent seven out of the past ten years in prison. There is talk of him being somewhat institutionalised.
"But he wants to be a better man and distance himself from offending."
While in custody he had attended a "tasters' day for the Princes' Trust and made contact with the chaplain." He recently became a father.
Mr Brewin added: "He wants to become a decent role model for his daughter."
A three-year driving ban was imposed on Miller of Norwich Gardens, Bulwell. This will start when he is released halfway through the jail term. But he must pass an extended driving test.