Ricky Woolaston, who'd been found guilty of breaching an ASBO previously, posed as a maintenance man to steal from the University of Birmingham.
The 35-year-old from Erdington, Birmingham, made off with laptops and some personal belongings from the labs there - but he also left behind his old charge sheet, which detailed his previous offence.
Armed with this evidence, the police were able to match his fingerprints at the crime scene.
Woolaston admitted five charges of burglary at Birmingham Crown Court and asked for another five offences to be taken into account. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
Detective Constable Jon Green, from West Midlands Police, was quoted in The Daily Mirror, saying: "Unfortunately for him, he managed to leave vital evidence behind at one of the break-ins."
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