Gun theft suspect leaves behind DNA, cigarette butts

EVERETT — A suspected gun thief could face burglary charges thanks to a nasty habit.

DNA evidence reportedly links the Redmond man, 40, to spit found inside a south county storage unit that was broken into in November.

Littering also could help lead to his criminal undoing. Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office believe he left behind cigarette butts.

“It’s never good for them when they leave behind a trail of evidence,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

The renter of the storage unit in the 1600 block of 196th Street SE discovered the burglary Nov. 18. There were signs of break-ins to two neighboring units.

The renter reported that four rifles, a pistol and multiple cases of ammunition had been stolen.

He also pointed to the souvenirs presumably left by the burglar.

There were Marlboro cigarette butts on the ground, which were booked into evidence.

The renter found the spit on a plastic bin. The deputy examined the saliva sample and it contained was he believed was burnt ash and tobacco. He swabbed it for evidence and sent it to the Washington State Patrol crime lab. The crime lab reportedly matched the DNA to a profile already in the state’s database.

Deputies arrested the man earlier this month, obtained a search warrant and took a DNA sample from him in the Snohomish County Jail.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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