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Who Packed the Drugs? Application of Bayesian Networks to Address Questions of DNA Transfer, Persistence, and Recovery from Plastic Bags and Tape

Efficient DNA Sampling in Burglary Investigations

Forensic Molecular Biology Department, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 26, 3008 Bern, Switzerland
Bern Cantonal Police, Nordring 30, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Niels Morling
Genes 2022, 13(1), 26;
Received: 14 December 2021 / Revised: 20 December 2021 / Accepted: 21 December 2021 / Published: 23 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Genetics)
In terms of crime scene investigations by means of forensic DNA-analyses, burglaries are the number one mass crime in Switzerland. Around one third of the DNA trace profiles registered in the Swiss DNA database are related to burglaries. However, during the collection of potential DNA traces within someone’s residence after a burglary, it is not known whether the sampled DNA originated from the perpetrator or from an inhabitant of said home. Because of the high incidence of burglaries, crime scene investigators usually do not collect reference samples from all the residents for economical and administrative reasons. Therefore, the presumably high probability that a DNA profile belonging to a person authorized to be at the crime scene ends up being sent to a DNA database for comparison, has to be taken into account. To our knowledge, no investigation has been made to evaluate the percentage of these non-perpetrator profiles straying into DNA databases. To shed light on this question, we collected reference samples from residents who had been victims of recent burglaries in their private homes. By comparing the profiles established from these reference samples with the profiles generated from trace DNA, we can show that the majority of the DNA samples collected in burglary investigations belong to the residents. Despite the limited number of cases included in the study, presumably due to a crime decline caused by the pandemic, we further show that trace DNA collection in the vicinity of the break and entry area, in particular window and door glasses, is most promising for sampling perpetrator instead of inhabitant DNA. View Full-Text
Keywords: burglary; CODIS; touch DNA; forensic genetics; crime scene; authorized; sampling burglary; CODIS; touch DNA; forensic genetics; crime scene; authorized; sampling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tièche, C.C.; Dubach, M.; Zieger, M. Efficient DNA Sampling in Burglary Investigations. Genes 2022, 13, 26.

AMA Style

Tièche CC, Dubach M, Zieger M. Efficient DNA Sampling in Burglary Investigations. Genes. 2022; 13(1):26.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tièche, Colin C., Markus Dubach, and Martin Zieger. 2022. "Efficient DNA Sampling in Burglary Investigations" Genes 13, no. 1: 26.

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