Cigarette DNA leads to car thief arrest

WHEN forensic detectives found a DNA match to a cigarette butt found in a stolen car, police set out looking for the suspect and found him hiding in a cupboard.

The court heard Jason Jeremy Duncan was driving a stolen car and pinched $74.94 worth of fuel from a service station in Moonie, 170km south of Chinchilla.

Appearing in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on Thursday, March 19, via video link from prison, Duncan pleaded guilty to stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Duncan was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment for a violent robbery at District Court the day before appearing in Chinchilla Magistrates Court, - the outstanding charges of theft and driving a stolen car predated the robbery by four months.

Police Prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said on Friday, April 26 2019, Duncan unlawfully used a stolen car and took off from the Moonie crossroads service station without paying for fuel.

"(The car) was located in Chinchilla, the keys were located in a different street than the vehicle," snr const Tahana said.

"They conducted a forensic examination and revealed the defendant's DNA was located on cigarette butts inside the vehicle and his fingerprints were also located on the passenger door.

"He was located on the 20th of July hiding in a cupboard (at a Chinchilla address).

"(Duncan) had an option to be interviewed, he said he didn't know anything about the stolen vehicle, and had never been in the stolen car… he was unable to explain to police why his DNA was found in the vehicle."

Snr Const Tahana advised Magistrate Tracy Mossop, that if the District Court had dealt with the two outstanding charges, it is likely that it wouldn't have affected Duncan's penalty.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop convicted and did not further punish Duncan, and stated that he would be on parole for a long time for the robbery - the conviction was recorded.

Duncan's parole release date is set for next week, Friday April 17.