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“Every year we have learned to use DNA better.” Prioritizing property crimes The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab emphasizes investigating property crimes in the suburbs.
It provides lab services for all the suburbs in the county. “For us in the suburbs, property crime is a big deal,” said Minnetonka Police Chief Jeff Sebenaler.
Scientists can now test dozens of samples at a time.
Stanek said he believes using science to solve property crimes is part of the equation for dramatic crime reduction in his jurisdiction.
Now scientists can test using microscopic amounts of genetic material, including skin cells left simply by handling an item called “touch DNA.” “We can really get a lot more from a lot less,” said BCA lab director Catherine Knutson.
The advancements have prompted BCA scientists to also conduct more DNA testing on guns and shell casings.
The Tri-County Regional Forensic Lab at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 60 percent of the 560 DNA cases it processed this year were for property crimes.“We don’t have homicides, thank goodness.” The sheriff’s crime lab routinely dispatches investigators to gather DNA and forensic evidence at the scenes of burglaries, car thefts and other property crimes.The sheriff’s lab staff also swabs and tests all firearms obtained through investigations for DNA, fingerprints and ballistics.BCA lab turnaround times have remained steady, and the Hennepin County lab has actually improved its times this year.Turnaround times at the Hennepin and BCA labs range from 30 to 50 days, depending on the type of case.
In the summer of 1982, Stefanie Watson disappeared without explanation.