A peckish “cat burglar” who crept into a house by squeezing through a cat flap couldn't resist the bait of a fish cake on the kitchen table.
While Jan Gina might have been careful not to leave his paw prints all over the house as he stole bank cards and bottles of wine, he evidently forgot about his DNA as he tucked into the fish cake.
And it was this DNA that helped convict the 20-year-old.
Gina had managed to break into the property in Folkestone, Kent, and padded silently around so as not to disturb the occupants who were sleeping.
He made off with wine, clothes, a handbag and bank cards during the burglary on May 9 - but, crucially, left the half-eaten snack on the table.
The burglary was reported to police and Gina’s DNA was traced on the fish cake.
Police launched a search and eventually found him hiding in a wardrobe in a disused building.
Officers recovered the stolen items and also found five bags of herbal cannabis in Gina’s backpack.
He initially denied burglary and cannabis possession – and claimed he did not even like fish – but later pleaded guilty.
He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday.
Detective Constable Beth Gumley said: “Gina crept around the property while the victims were inside, asleep and completely unaware. Luckily, we were able to return the stolen items and Gina has now been imprisoned.
“Burglary is such an intrusive crime and the impact on victims is not underestimated.
"This is why we will do everything within our power to seek justice and ensure those breaking the law are put before the courts.”