A bungling burglar led police from the crime scene all the way to his front door with a trail of footprints in the snow.
Officers spent an hour and a half following the mile-long trail of Lewis Ward, who had stolen an iPad from a house on the other side of town.
The 28-year-old thief sneaked along a string of back alleys and roads to get home - not realising he was leaving clues every step of the way.
When police were called to the burgled house in Darlington, County Durham, they noticed the distinctive prints of his trainers leading away from the property.
And when they eventually arrived at Ward’s house, they discovered his trainers, still wet, with identical patterns on the soles. Darlington magistrates heard that two police officers arrived at the burgled house in Vine Street at 11.30pm and arrested Ward at his house in Raby Street at 1am.
They found the iPad hidden in the bedroom.
John Garside, prosecuting, said: “He must have realised what he had done as he put the iPad behind the wardrobe and charger under the washing machine.”
Ward pleaded guilty to burglary and was told he could face prison.
Jonathan Harley, mitigating, said: “This is a completely and utterly baffling offence. Mr Ward is unable to offer any reason as to why he decided to enter the property and remove an iPad.”
He added: “He had been drinking at home alone from around 7pm to 8pm. he had two bottles of wine and had gone out for some air.
“Mr Ward fully accepts he is in serious trouble.” Sentencing was adjourned until February 19. - Daily Mail