A jewel thief from Birmingham was caught red-handed after leaving a bloodstain behind when the gang he was in stole £365,000 of gems from a West Bromwich shop.
Max Williams, a 22-year-old university student, was jailed for eight years at Wolverhampton Crown Court after he admitted robbery.
Police arrested Williams, of Laxey Road, Edgbaston, after they traced his DNA from the droplet of blood he left after catching his hand on a glass cabinet he smashed with a hammer.
The court heard that Williams was part of a gang who smashed their way into the family run SK Jewellers, in High Street, West Bromwich.
Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said staff were getting ready to close when the masked raiders struck in May this year.
The gang told the six workers and a female customer to get out of the way as they shattered the display cabinets with hammers. The gang then made their way to a getaway car which carried false registration plates.
A chasing police officer lost the vehicle in the rush hour traffic, but Williams was traced through his DNA.
Harbinder Lally, defending, said Williams had no previous convictions and was a “decent, kind, helpful and intelligent” individual who had recently started a university course.
He said Williams had fallen into debt and he had been pressurised into taking part in the robbery after he fell in with the wrong crowd.
Judge Michael Challinor said the raid was clearly a “professional and well planned commercial robbery”.
He added: “The owners of the jewellery shop were terrified seeing you come in. Further harm was done in that £364,855 worth of property was stolen and none of it has been recovered. That is nearly a third of a million pounds stolen and gone.
“This is in the category of serious organised crime and it has to be met with a significant sentence of imprisonment.”