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SDPD Crime Lab's DNA Unit Investigates "Lesser Felony" Crimes

The San Diego Police Department allocates resources to investigate burglaries and other "lesser felony" crimes through forensic evidence. Two specialists from the SDPD crime lab tell us how solving on

SDPD Crime Lab's DNA Unit Investigates "Lesser Felony" Crimes

(Originally aired Sept. 17, 2007.)

Tom Fudge: We've heard a lot about collecting samples of DNA at crime scenes to nail criminals. They do it on CSI all the time. But when we hear about this, the crime tends to be serious and violent: rape or murder.

But San Diego investigators have actually been solving burglaries by collecting genetic evidence. That may seem a little bit odd. Why go to the trouble of collecting and testing DNA in connection with a non-violent crime where the crook may have gotten way with no more than $200 worth of stuff? Besides, how would burglars even leave DNA behind at the crime scene?

Guests

  • Patrick O'Donnell, supervisor of the San Diego Police Department crime lab's DNA unit.