By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 26, 2016

The fat in fine cured ham is part of what makes the meat so delicious. But they can also be your downfall, especially if you leave a trail of fat behind you after a charcuterie heist.

A bumbling thief made this exact mistake earlier in the week when robbing a tapas restaurant in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain. The owner arrived on Monday morning to find that someone had stolen his cash register, TV and seven full legs of delicious Jamon Iberico. According to The Local, while the owner was dealing with the situation, his wife and mother-in-law picked up on a pretty important clue: the aforementioned trail of fat, which they were able to follow directly to a house behind their business.

“There were traces of fat everywhere, on the pavement outside the property, the stairs and even the front door,” said Domingo Infante, owner of the restaurant, ironically named Los Caracoles – which in English translates to “The Snails.” Turns out this thief knew a lot about leaving a slimy trail. I’m guessing he’s a messy eater too.

The police quickly obtained a warrant and, sure enough, found a TV, an empty cash register and two legs of ham inside. Sadly, the remaining five legs weren’t recovered, with the authorities believing the meat was hauled off by some accomplices.

“We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry yesterday. It’s like something out of a silly film,” said Infante. “[We] thought the fat trail from the ham would lead to a car park and a vehicle that had long gone, not a house in the street behind us.”

Though they’re glad they found the culprit, Domingo’s wife Cristina said they’d still like the other five jamons back. You can’t blame her: Each leg is worth about $130 – making this ham heist far more serious than anything that’s ever happened in your office fridge.