Greensboro police eye DNA evidence for burglaries, car break-ins

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Police Department is taking a microscopic look at the kind of crimes it hasn’t been able to before.

It’s using $125,000 in state drug tax money to create a new DNA database for larceny suspects. That includes everything from home burglaries to car break-ins.

Police believe the database will help them identify suspects quicker and cut down on a crime that is habitual.

“We know they’re doing it so we can get their DNA and try to match that DNA to other crimes,” said Deputy Chief Brian Cheek of GPD.

DNA testing is utilized for major criminal investigations but asking the state laboratory to process DNA orders for other crimes statewide would be too much to ask.

A similar plan was developed last year ago but the private lab that was contracted to do the testing closed down. Cheek said the police department has been looking for another private lab to help it create a database ever since.

Over the last two weeks, GPD has sent 50 samples to the LabCorp-owned lab out of state. The price for each sample varies but is never more than $100 per sample. Cheek said if the program is successful police will ask for additional funding when the stipend runs out.

Greensboro police would like to see other agencies join them in testing DNA for burglaries.

Wiston-Salem police said Monday they’ve allowed Greensboro to take the lead on the project but see the benefits of a DNA database.

Davidson County Sheriff David Grice isn’t as convinced. He said with a smaller department and fewer crimes he isn’t sure being a part of the network would pay off for the Sheriff’s Office.

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