Solving Property Crimes with DNA: The Virginia Experience

Virginia's DNA Databank has proven remarkably successful. In 2002, the Databank contained 186,740 offender profiles, against which 445 hits were made for property crimes that year. As of January 31, 2009, the Databank contained 295,865 profiles. There have been a total of 5,417 hits against the databank. Of those hits, 3,439 solved a property crime or assisted in a burglary investigation.

Of the 4,748 offenders identified with a Databank hit:

  • 2,220 had prior convictions for other property crime or theft related offence..
  • 665 had prior convictions for violent offenses.
  • 845 had prior convictions for drug offenses.

According to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science:

  • 80 percent of these hits would have been missed if DNA evidence had not been collected in property crimes (if evidence had been collected only in violent crimes).
  • Approximately 40 percent of violent crimes solved were perpetrated by individuals with previous property crime convictions.

See the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Web site for more on these statistics Exit Notice.

Date Modified: May 22, 2009