The average house thief wears trainers worth more than £100 when they are on a job - and they favour the more expensive brands of Nike, Reebok and Adidas.
Criminologists at the University of Leicester used 'footwear profiling' - looking at footprints left at the scenes of crimes - to come up with the data.
Just a single imprint from the sole of a shoe told them the age of the offender, if they had a job and pinpointed where they live.
They found that 94 per cent of burglars wear trainers costing up to £120 and that the younger the intruder, the more expensive their threads are likely to be.
Forensic expert Dr John Bond said: 'Using data from Northamptonshire Police, the most common shoe we found were Nike trainers, followed by Reebok and Adidas costing up to about £120.
'And the more expensive the footwear, the younger and more socially deprived the burglar is likely to be and the less likely to be employed they are.'
'This research can give a profile of the offender, so if the police already have an idea who it is it can help narrow it down.
'By finding out how much the shoe cost we were able to correlate it to age, employment status and how socially deprived the area they live in is.'
The study found that out of 155 burglars, 94 per cent wore trainers at the scene of their crimes and the younger they were the more expensive their trainers were likely to be.
Dr Bond added: 'What we found was even the youngest offender, a 15-year-old, still wore the £120 trainers.
'This is probably because they want to be seen to be wearing the latest gear to fit in with their social group and to be more attractive to the opposite sex.
'The cheapest trainer we found was unbranded and cost around £20. This belonged to somebody in their forties.
'This fits with our findings as the older you get the less fashion conscious you get, the less of a need there is to fit in.'
The university is due to host an open day for police forces from around the country to see how the profiling works later on this year
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Edited by David, 09 June 2011 - 05:49 PM.
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