A young man who broke into a Urana sports club was arrested two years later because he left behind his fingerprints, a court has heard.
It took that long for expert forensic analysis of fingerprints at the crime scene to score a match.
Brody John Anthony Widdup's crimes have been slammed by Albury Local Court magistrate Rodney Brender, who said breaking into a non-profit sporting group such as the Billabong Crows was "really disgraceful conduct".
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Widdup, now 22, committed the two break-ins with two teenage accomplices.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated break and enter in company to steal.
Defence lawyer Graham Lamond said a sentence assessment report on Widdup showed he "has turned his life around" through "his own hard work".
His sister, who supported him in court, had also helped him achieve his break from the drug and alcohol issues he had at the time of his offending in 2017.
Mr Lamond said Widdup had secured work and was hoping to turn that into an apprenticeship as a chef.
But Mr Brender said the seriousness of Widdup's offending was made clear in the 20-year maximum jail term for the charge.
The court was told that Widdup, who had since moved from Jerilderie to Albury, had a limited criminal history, covering 2015 to 2017.
The first break-in, on the clubrooms at Victoria Park in Urana, was detected on July 3, 2019.
The court was told that Widdup "and two young persons" forced open the ground-floor front window to get inside.
They stole six boxes of Freddo Frog chocolate bars, a six-pack of pre-mixed spirits and "an amount of soft drink" valued at between $200 and $300.
Nine days later, a Federation Council caretaker returned to work and confirmed the break-in.
A fingerprint taken by police from a food servery window was confirmed - by forensic experts on February 4 this year - as being Widdup's.
In the second break-in, discovered on July 29, 2017, they stole alcohol valued at $145.
Police said the trio ate and drank their loot.