A gang of burglars have been sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison after being caught when they left DNA and fingerprints on a half-eaten pasty and an empty packet of sausage rolls.

The burglars had stolen around £200,000 (NZ$387,55) worth of items from homes and jewellery shops across Essex, Suffolk, Kent, Surrey and London between April and November 2015.

But they were caught after police found fingerprints and DNA traces on a half-eaten pasty and sausage rolls that had been left in stolen vehicles, the Daily Mail reports.

The bungling gang had broken into homes, stolen cars parked outside and then used the stolen vehicles to commit further burglaries.

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But police found evidence including fingerprints and DNA traces found on the half-eaten pasty and empty packets of sausage rolls.

Two of the burglars, Alan Speed, 32, and David Speed, 29, were sentenced to t10 years in jail.

They are both of no fixed address and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries. They were found guilty of conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to disguise criminal property.

George Robinson, 30, of Clacton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries and was found guilty of conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries.

He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

George Robinson, 30 (left), was sentenced to seven years in prison and Jimmy Stevens, 37 (right) was sentenced to six years. Photo / Essex Police
George Robinson, 30 (left), was sentenced to seven years in prison and Jimmy Stevens, 37 (right) was sentenced to six years. Photo / Essex Police

Finally, Jimmy Stevens, 37, of no fixed address, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries.

He was sentenced to six years' imprisonment.

Dc Aimee Burton from Colchester CID said: "During the trial last month the court heard how the gang worked together to steal cars from properties across five counties and clone the plates to then use them to burgle commercial premises.

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"Evidence including fingerprints and DNA traces found on a half-eaten pasty, sausage roll packet and socks left in some of the stolen vehicles linked the men to the crimes.

"Today the gang members have all been handed lengthy prison sentences and they will now spend a number of years behind bars."