Dallas police use rare DNA test to solve auto theft cases

Dallas, TX - (NBC) - DNA testing that for years helped solve violent crimes is getting another use in a wheels on the ground program in Dallas, Texas

Police, prosecutors and the crime lab are using a federal grant to apply DNA testing to vehicle thefts. Dallas officers swab areas possibly touched by thieves or items left behind in an effort to secure genetic material.

Police begin taking DNA from stolen cars and trucks earlier this year. Results are compared with a law enforcement database.

The task force called Forensic Evidence Auto Recovery, or FEAR, targets theft rings that salvage vehicles for parts.

Police Sgt. David Landry says tying suspects to multiple cases can lead to convictions and longer sentences.

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