Beer can DNA samples have helped police identify a burglary suspect who was on the loose in Syracuse, New York.
According to authorities, copper wiring was stolen from a vacant rental home in the local area recently. However, the thief left clues, and seemingly had found a number of beer cans in the basement of the location. The suspect is said to have relaxed and knocked back a number of the beer cans before running off with his stolen items.
The beer cans were later recovered by police after the owner of the property reported the theft, and investigators were able to match the DNA found on the beer cans to that of 29 year old Moses Wilson.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Kasmarek has confirmed that the beer cans only had Wilson's DNA on them and they are certain that will provide condemning evidence in charges being brought against him.
Wilson has now been charged with third degree burglary and petit larceny. The suspect is now being held at the Onondaga County Justice Center on a $10,000 bond.
It is not unheard of for criminals to leave their DNA evidence unsuspectingly on beer cans at the scenes of crimes. However, sometimes it has proven a little controversial and some have claimed that it is not an accurate way of identifying offenders. In 2009 Marcelles Peter was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl after his DNA was found on a condom at the scene of the horrific attack. However, Peter denied having done anything wrong and claimed that wind may have carried it from a beer can he had been drinking to the discarded condom.
In that disturbing case, Peter was one of six men who was charged with raping the teenager over a two hour period in a California schoolyard as numerous people looked on and did nothing.
However, Peter's attorney argued that a helicopter could have compromised evidence at the scene, and that wind from its propellers blew DNA from the beer can Peter was drinking nearby onto the condom used in the attack.
Prosecutors have not believed those claims, and that case is in fact ongoing with the trial continuing this week.