Stories tagged burglary

Oct
28
2008

Thieves have more to worry about than fingerprints
Thieves have more to worry about than fingerprintsCourtesy kevindooley
In the course of robbing a house, it may seem like a small thing to snag a can of pop. But leaving that can behind can also leave the evidence necessary for a conviction. A recent Associated Press article, Police use DNA to solve everyday property crimes, detailed the increasing use of DNA by Denver police in burglary and car theft cases. A Denver suspect was convicted of five robberies because he left pop cans behind at each scene. DNA analysis of his saliva then linked him to all five cases. Other convictions came from a lollipop and a tuna sandwich. The average stolen property sentence in Denver in a case where DNA was used as evidence was 14 years as opposed to an average 11/2 years without DNA.
Using DNA has become more possible now because it is less expensive, requires a smaller sample, and takes less time than before. On the low end, it can take only 12 hours and 50 dollars. The CSI exhibit currently at the Science Museum seeks to show visitors how the techniques seen on the show are used in real-world forensics, so I thought it was interesting that the article included this quote:
"Regular watchers of CSI may be led to believe that this technology is already being used in this way, but it's really brand-new," said John Roman of the Urban Institute, lead author of a study on the issue. "This really is the start of a revolution in policing."