The database of criminals’ DNA designed by the FBI to help solve rapes and murders increasingly is being used to identify suspects in unsolved burglaries and other property crimes, reports USA Today. In 10 states – Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin – the number of DNA matches in property-crime cases has exceeded the number of matches in violent crimes. Of Georgia’s first 171 matches, only 13 involved DNA from the scenes of unsolved burglaries. Of the 300 matches that followed, 79 were in burglary cases.
DNA testing has become more sophisticated, allowing analysts to draw genetic profiles from evidence at burglary scenes – palm prints, cigarette butts, sweat stains on gloves and masks – nearly as easily as they can get profiles from blood or semen at the scenes of violent crimes. Government grants for testing evidence, initially limited to violent crimes, now can be used to analyze DNA from property crimes.