A pair of suspected burglars was caught, carrying their loot, by London police officers who followed footprints they had unwittingly left in the snow.
The police were called to a break-in in Sutton, South London, on Monday to find a garage door open and several items missing. Officers soon noticed that two sets of footprints led away from the scene and down a side street.
Rare snowfall in London, as temperatures reached 14 degrees, meant the criminals had left a trail of evidence with every step along their escape route.
At around 4:30 a.m., with local residents still in bed, the trail in the fresh snow was unsullied by commuters. Officers, accompanied by sniffer dogs, were able to follow the prints across driveways and down alleys.
For an hour they traced the footprints. A milkman they passed on the route confirmed that he had seen two people hurrying down the street a few minutes earlier.
Finally, they discovered a pair of teenagers, aged 16 and 17, with a number of electronic items. Subsequent searches uncovered further goods including iPods and cell phones that are believed to have been stolen.