DNA from lollipop leads to man's arrest on burglary, theft charges

A chewed lollipop stick, left behind at the scene of a March burglary, has been traced back to a Florida man who was arrested Thursday.

Thomas Christopher Crews, 58, broke into a Pelican Bay home March 6 through a sliding glass door sometime after 6 p.m., when the owner left for dinner, detectives said. The victim came home to find the rear door open, her jewelry missing and a lollipop stick on top of her bedroom dresser, according to police.

Collier County detectives sent the stick off to the state lab for DNA testing, where it came back with a match. Crews, a serial felon who has spent 20 years in prison -- more than a third of his life -- for thefts and residential burglaries, already had his DNA on file in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s databank, according to county sheriff’s detectives.

Detectives found Crews at his home and collected more DNA evidence to compare to the lollipop stick. On Monday, the state lab again confirmed that the DNA on the lollipop stick was from Crews.

Crews was arrested  Thursday on burglary and grand theft charges, and is being held in the Collier County jail.

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