Friday, January 22, 2010

Dallas to use DNA in auto theft cases

The Dallas PD will begin using DNA in auto theft cases, reports the Dallas News. This will make them, to my knowledge, the first Texas police department to routinely use DNA evidence in property crimes. Jurisdictions in other states have had success using DNA for home burglaries, but the Dallas pilot will focus on auto theft.

In particular, it's worth closely watching whether expanded use of so-called touch DNA in property crime investigations will overwhelm state crime labs. DNA labs have big backlogs, and if it begins to be used widely in property crime cases, the system could bog down pretty quickly.