Reebok Classic trainers turn out to be a runaway success with burglars

Burglars are more likely to wear Reebok Classic trainers than any other type of footwear, says the author of a new study.

An analysis of footprints left at crime scenes showed the shoes to be the footwear of choice for more than 50 per cent of burglars.

Researchers at the University of Leicester found they were worn by 52 out of 100 burglars in Northamptonshire.

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They also found that burglars from poorer areas tended to wear more expensive trainers.

The cost of trainers worn by unemployed burglars was 67 on average, while those worn by burglars with jobs cost 48.

Dr John Bond, a Fellow at the university's forensic research centre who carried out the study, described the findings as surprising.

He said: "We were quite surprised to find this kind of correlation between the cost of the footwear and where people live."

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It is hoped the findings will help police catch criminals by narrowing down their search to those most likely to be wearing the type of shoe identified in crime scene footprints.

Dr Bond, who is also the head of forensic science at Northamptonshire Police, said it was not known whether the burglars had bought or stolen their trainers.

Researchers intend to speak to some of the offenders and ask why they chose those particular trainers.

The results of the study, published in the Psychology Crime and Law journal, emerged after it was revealed earlier this week that criminals are on the lookout for different loot since globalisation brought prices of some household goods down. Experts at the University of Leicester found that criminals were moving from traditional household burglaries to personal muggings to keep up with the times.

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Their research found that cheaper electronic goods from China and the Far East were forcing thieves to re-think their shopping lists.

While items such as DVD players have become cheaper, other consumer items have became smaller and very expensive, so the latest mobile phone or iPod, which people carry around with them, have become targets for robbers, the study found.