DOJ Press Release letterhead

  • Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
  • Phone: (202) 307-0703
  • TTY: (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON – The use of DNA technology results in a higher probability of arrest for all property loss crimes, according to a study released today from the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

The study found that obtaining DNA samples in property crimes dramatically increases the chances of a burglar being caught and is more cost – effective in the long run to law enforcement, according to an experimental five city project evaluation.

"The information gained from this study will be valuable to other cities and communities interested in collecting DNA evidence in property crimes," said OJP Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick. "It provides valuable information and best practices about collecting DNA at burglary scenes. It could lead to major changes in law enforcement policy and practice."

NIJ, a division of the Office of Justice Programs, funded the study through a competitive grant process, with an independent evaluation being conducted by the Urban Institute. Additional findings include:

In 2005, NIJ provided funds to five cities—Denver, Colo; Topeka, Kan; Phoenix, Ariz; Los Angeles, Calif; and Orange County, Calif;—to experiment with DNA evidence collection in property crimes. The experiment was designed to determine if collecting DNA evidence at property crimes scenes could be a cost-effective tool in helping local law enforcement officials identify and apprehend burglary suspects.

Description of the 5-city experiment is available at:

Description of forensic DNA analysis is available at the Web site of the President’s DNA Initiative:

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at