Police used DNA from a sweaty shoe to catch would-be thief Charles Pluck.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard he left it behind as he fled Raploch Community Campus empty handed after being caught in a broom cupboard by the janitor.
Sheriff Wyllie Robertson was told the caretaker had seen a light on in the cupboard at 3am and when he went to investigate found Pluck with a T-shirt wrapped around his head and holding a rucksack and crowbar.
When he was challenged about being there, Pluck ran away and in his hurry tripped over and his shoe fell off.
The janitor later picked Pluck from a ‘rogue’s gallery’ of pictures of known criminals shown to him by police and the identification was confirmed by DNA from perspiration traces in the abandoned footwear.
Pluck (25), from Falkirk, pleaded guilty to being in the campus on September 14 last year with intent to steal. He also admitted reset of stolen goods in Carronshore last February including a signed Falkirk FC jersey and £100 satnav which had been stolen during a break-in at the Shire Timber Company in Dock Street earlier.
Defence lawyer Douglas Grant said Pluck was a qualified chef who at the time of the offences had “fallen on hard times”.
The sheriff jailed Pluck for three and a half years.