DNA samples used more for property crimes

October 20, 2006

Law enforcement agencies across the United States more and more use a national database of criminals' DNA to solve non-violent property crimes.

The database, designed by the FBI to help solve violent crimes such as rape and murder, is more accessible to property crime searches, USA Today said, for several reasons: more sophisticated DNA testing and greater access federal money for testing DNA from property crimes.

In the survey, 10 states reported the number of DNA matches in property cases was greater than the number of matches in violent crime, USA Today said. Several states also collect DNA samples from people convicted of misdemeanor offenses such as minor assaults.

The FBI said the database has DNA profiles from about 3.5 million people, recording matches in about 38,000 cases, the newspaper said. About 25,000 profiles are added to the database a month.

Supporters of the expanded use of DNA testing said people who commit property crime offenses often are later involved in more serious crimes, USA Today said. Opponents said the expansion could raise privacy issues.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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