Research In Brief: DNA and Property Crimes

Many police departments in the United States collect DNA evidence only in violent crime cases. Historically, investigators believed that it would be too expensive to collect biological evidence and perform DNA analysis in burglaries and other high-volume property crimes.

However, the cost of doing DNA analyses is decreasing. The amount of data in state and national DNA databases is increasing, and databases include a growing number of profiles of both violent and nonviolent felons. Based on information in these databases—and other information about criminal careers—researchers have found that many property offenders do not “specialize.” Many also commit violent crimes and drug crimes.