Mosquito solves car theft case

* Finnish police find insect in stolen car * DNA sample matches known criminal's * Suspect claims he was just hitch-hiking...

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What Car? Staff
23 December 2008

Mosquito solves car theft case

Police in Finland believe they have caught a car thief using a DNA sample taken from a mosquito found inside an abandoned vehicle.

The car was found in Seinaejoki, north of Helsinki. Police saw that the mosquito had recently sucked blood, so decided to send the insect for analysis.

The DNA found from laboratory tests matched a man on the police register. The suspect denies stealing the car and says he was just hitch-hiking at the time.

Sakari Palomaeki, the police inspector in charge of the case, said it was the first time Finnish police had used an insect to solve a crime.

'It is not easy to find a small mosquito in a car; this just shows how thorough the crime scene investigation was.'

A prosecutor must now decide if the sample is strong enough for charges to be pressed.