/ 22 December 2008

Blood from mosquito traps Finnish suspect

Police in Finland believe they have caught a car-thief thanks to a DNA sample taken from a sample of his blood found inside a mosquito.

Last June a car was stolen in Lapua, 380km north of Helsinki. It was soon found near a railway station in Seinaejoki, about 25km from where it was stolen.

“A police patrol carried out an inspection of the car and they noticed a mosquito that had sucked blood. It was sent to the laboratory for testing, which showed the blood belonged to a man who was in the police registers,” inspector Sakari Palomaeki said.

The suspect, who has been interrogated, has insisted he did not steal the car, saying he had hitchhiked and was given a lift by a man driving the car.

Palomaeki said a prosecutor would decide if the evidence was solid enough for charges to be pressed.

Finnish police said it was rare for them to use insects to solve crimes, although they are interested in everything found at a crime scene.

“It is not usual to use mosquitoes. In training we were not told to keep an eye on mosquitoes at crime scenes,” Palomaeki said, laughing.

“It is not easy to find a small mosquito in a car, this just shows how thorough the crime-scene investigation was,” he added. — AFP