DNA solves window crime, four years on
It may have taken almost four years, but a crime committed at Cromwell’s NRG Health and Fitness Centre has been solved, and the gym’s owners couldn’t be happier. Sergeant Simon Paget, of Cromwell, said police took a DNA sample from the scene after a window at the gym was broken in 2009. The sample was entered into the police data bank. ‘‘Recent changes in legislation have provided police with the power to obtain a DNA sample when arresting a person with intent to charge them with an offence punishable by imprisonment,’’ Mr said. So when a 21-year-old Cromwell man was arrested last month police were able to obtain a DNA sample. ‘‘In the case of the smashed glass, an ESR scientist found the samples matched and as a result this young man will now appear in the Alexandra District court charged with intentional damage,’’ Mr Paget said This was a local example of the sort of technology available to police in the 21st century. ‘‘DNA is a great tool and hopefully in the future will act as a disincentive for those tempted to commit crime,’’ he said.
Paget NRG owner Chantel Knox said she was delighted the alleged offender had been caught so long after the offending occurred and congratulated the police on solving the crime. While the offending was on a small scale, it had been ‘‘annoying’’ and she couldn’t understand why someone would want to smash a window. Meanwhile, Mr Paget said that he was pleased to report that crime was continuing on a downward trend in Cromwell. ‘‘It’s great to see some key messages we have been promoting have been taken up by the community.’’ Most noticeably there was an increase in people reporting suspicious or problem behaviour via 111, enabling police to respond and prevent issues from escalating.
Glad: NRG Health and Fitness owner Chantel Knox by the window that was smashed almost four years ago. Police last week arrested a 21-year-old Cromwell man in relation to the incident.