Today's criminal pro tip: If you must smoke during a break-in, don't leave the butt behind

DNA on a cigarette butt found in a burglarized Blue Hill Avenue apartment led police to a suspect who was arraigned today on charges he stole two TVs and a jar containing $300, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Michael Fortune, 60, who has a lengthy record for larceny, shoplifting and possession of burglarious tools dating back to 1977, was released on personal recognizance, according to the DA's office, which says it had asked Dorchester District Court Judge Debra Shopteese for bail of $2,000.

According to the DA's office, the apartment's resident came home on Dec. 9, 2012, after a couple of months away to find the place robbed:

Officers found the remains of a smoked cigarette on the kitchen table; the resident was a non-smoker, however, and told police that the cigarette butt was not there when he left.

The cigarette was taken to the Boston Police Crime Laboratory, where a DNA profile on the cigarette was matched to Fortune, who had submitted a DNA sample because of prior convictions. The victim told police that he did not know Fortune and did not give him permission to enter the apartment, and detectives obtained a warrant for Fortune’s arrest. He surrendered himself in court on that warrant yesterday.

Innocent, etc.

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    Comments

    Personal recognizance?

    By on

    What kind of "personal recognizance" does a person who has "a lengthy record for larceny, shoplifting and possession of burglarious tools dating back to 1977" AND who just broke into another house have?

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    Once again, the purpose of bail

    is to ensure that a defendant will appear at trial. Since this particular defendant voluntarily turned himself in, I would imagine that the judge had some reasonable confidence that he wouldn't skip out on his trial.

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    Am I the only one surprised

    By on

    Am I the only one surprised BPD went to such great lengths (DNA testing) over a break in?

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    Great lengths?

    $99 and a database.

    Well, maybe more expensive than that, but not much.

    Seriously - wicked cheap way to solve a case these days, considering the hourly rate for a detective. Definitive, too.

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    14

    When I had a break in, I had

    When I had a break in, I had a hard time keeping the cop in my apartment to finish the report. He got called away to another incident about halfway through. So, yes, color me surprised.

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    10

    DNA

    By on

    About a year ago I was walking down the street and noticed a local business had their front door smashed in. There was broken glass with blood on it in the doorway.
    I was told by a policeman that this glass would be tested and saved in case this guys DNA was on file or in the case where, in the future another crime would be committed by the same individual. then this maybe used as evidence against him/her.

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