Burglars are one of the most common types of criminals. They tend to target houses that are empty to reduce the chances that they’ll be caught by police. This is because if someone is there, they may have a gun and shoot whoever is intruding. Targeting empty houses also making it difficult for officers to track them down. Sometimes, however, the criminals leave behind evidence. Much like saliva and blood, police officers can also acquire valuable information about a person from their excrement. Apparently, vast numbers of people don’t seem to understand this.
For example, a man recently broke into a house Thousand Oaks, California and burglarized it. While inside, he relieved himself in the toilet but did not flush. Because of this, investigators were able to retrieve some of his DNA, track him down, and arrest him.
Specifically, law enforcement officials arrested Andrew David Jensen several days ago on suspicion of “first-degree residential burglary,” which is a felony, after finding his DNA inside of a home that was broken into. According to Detective Tim Lohman of the Ventura County Sheriff Department, Jensen allegedly broke into the house, which was unoccupied at the time, and pooped in one of the toilets. Rather than flush, he left his feces for the homeowners to find.
As a result, investigators managed to collect some DNA evidence from the abandoned excrement, which they then ran through a national database. Upon doing so, they found that the excrement belonged to Jensen. They then tracked him down and arrested him. His bail was set at $ 180,000.
Jensen is not the only person to have their poop linked to a crime. Last year, a 39-year-old man in China, identified only as “Zhang,” experienced a similar fate. During a robbery, he also pooped in the person’s home. However, instead of using the toilet, he relieved himself on the homeowner’s bed. Since he had a criminal record, police officers were able to use the DNA in his feces to connect him to the robbery.
Detective Lohman explained that most people don’t think of poop when they think of DNA evidence. “When people think of DNA evidence, they usually think of hair samples or saliva,” he reasoned.
This may be why others have broken into other people’s homes and pooped without flushing. For example, Ramon Herrera, a 33-year-old man from New Mexico, also broke into someone else’s house and used their bathroom without flushing before robbing them of their valuables. But unlike what happened with Jensen, the detective “failed to collect any samples from the used toilet.”
Fortunately, the investigators didn’t need to do so in order to identify Herrera as the burglar. This is because, during the burglary, which happened several years ago, Herrera stole a can of coke out of the fridge and after drinking the coke, he left the empty can on the table with a note that read, “Sorry.” Investigators were able to collect DNA from the can, which they then traced back to Herrera. He was subsequently arrested, charged with “residential burglary and larceny over $ 20,000,” and taken to the Bernalillo County Jail.
However, some criminals don’t seem to care about whether or not they leave behind any DNA. For instance, police officers arrested, Ricky Ratchpaul, a 50-year-old homeless man, earlier this year after he allegedly broke into a house and completely trashed it. In court, Prosecutor Phillip Lee provided more details.
“It appears the defendant entered the property at some point over the weekend in question via a window on the ground floor and forced open some French doors to enter,” explained Lee, adding, “Mr. Ratchpaul damaged a pane of glass and occupied the property for two or three days, during which time he used the facilities, watched television, listened to music and smoked weed.”
On top of that, he used the bed, wrote his name on three walls, and left used condoms that he had masturbated into while watching porn laying around. Also, much like Jensen and Herrera, Ratchpaul left unflushed excrement in the toilet. But just like with Herrera, investigators did not rely on his poop for DNA. Instead, they used a cigarette butt that he left behind.
DNA continues to be one of the best ways to figure out who was involved in a crime. Hopefully, criminals remain ignorant of this and continue making it easy to track them down by leaving their DNA for investigators to find.
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