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News Story
Updated: 03/19/2017 09:44:05AM

DNA match helps authorities nab burglary suspect

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SEBRING — DNA testing helped authorities recently nab a man in connection with a 2014 robbery.

Ronald Arthur Smith, 51, 3426 Green Acre Way, Sebring, was booked into Highlands County Jail Thursday after being charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure and grand theft more than $300 and less than $5,000.

Officers with the Sebring Police Department responded to a home on Sept. 13, 2014, after receiving a complaint about a stolen drill case and a chainsaw, according to a report.

The resident told authorities that someone had entered his steel workshop and stolen the items. A few days later, the resident gave police a cigarette butt found inside the workshop. He said it was not his nor his wife’s and no one else was allowed to smoke inside since there were fuel canisters stored there.

The cigarette butt was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be processed. On April 2, 2015, the FDLE identified the DNA’s as Smith’s, the report said.

Another DNA sample from him was sent to the FDLE to be compared to the original DNA hit, authorities said. At that time Smith was in Highlands County Jail and a search warrant was issued for his DNA sample.

The match was confirmed as Smith’s, authorities added.

The report does not say why Smith was arrested and charged more than two years later.


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