POLICE used DNA to catch a motorcycle thief from one of his trainers left at a crash scene.
Joseph Hoadley, 18, ran from the scene but was identified by DNA tests on the trainer.
Magistrates heard that two scooters were stolen from a garage in Gravesend, Kent, on November 24, by thieves who gained entry via a hole made in the roof. One of the scooters, a Vespa T5, was recovered from an adjacent street as a result of police house-to-house enquiries.
The second, a Lambretta GP200, was recovered the following day when officers attended a collision on nearby London Road, Northfleet, where they also found the trainer.
Hoadley, of no fixed address, was arrested on December 22 after forensic tests on the shoe.
He pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent at Medway Magistrates’ Court on December 23 and was sentenced to six months in a young offenders’ institute.
DC William Looker said: “This was a good example of how we will use all available tools at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice. We obtain DNA from a variety of sources and this shows the lengths we will go to piece together evidence to track down the culprits.
“Hoadley must now contemplate his actions locked up over the Christmas period and I hope he uses it to reflect on the misery he caused his victim.
"I also hope this serves as a warning to those thinking of committing crime over the festive period.”