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Medicine Science

Blood From Mosquito Traps Car Thief 198

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the plausible-deniability dept.
Frosty Piss writes "Police in Finland have made an arrest for car theft based on a DNA sample taken from the blood found inside a mosquito. '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,' a police officer told reporters. 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. I'm wondering if the suspect should have denied any association with the car at all. After all, who knows where that mosquito had been?"
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Blood From Mosquito Traps Car Thief

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  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:47PM (#26206645) Homepage Journal
    [ Intro to latest CSI: Miami episode as ripped from the headlines: ]

    Police officer: "We were able to extract the suspect's blood from a mosquito found in the car."

    David Caruso: "Heh heh heh..."

    David Caruso: "SUCKERRRRR!"

    [ YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! ]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mikesd81 (518581)
      Grissom from the original CSI was the bug guy...infact in a few episodes they got DNA from maggots.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Better was the one where they got DNA from crabs. The kind of crabs that like it where the sun don't shine. DNA from the person with the crabs and EVERYONE who had, uh, shared them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373)

      Of all the CSI characters, the one David Caruso does is by far the worst.

      Who the hell walks up to anybody, and ALWAYS turns their body 45 degree's so they have to then turn their head to have a conversation? I mean, besides David Caruso.

      I think he has a minimum number of 'pose' shots written into his contract, because that's all he does every episode.

    • by Maxmin (921568)

      Copiously missing from the post, and the article, was the part were they instantiated a clone based upon DNA extracted from the mosquito.

      It was a Tyrannosaurus Rex!

      Chuckle-chuckle snarf snort...

  • by religious freak (1005821) on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:51PM (#26206689)
    My girlfriend's car was stolen a number of years ago, and when it was recovered, the police weren't even interested in taking fingerprints, despite the fact that there was damage inside the car and property was stolen out of it.

    Good for you, Finland.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:52PM (#26206709)

      My girlfriend

      [citation needed]

    • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:54PM (#26206741)

      My girlfriend's car was stolen a number of years ago, and when it was recovered, the police weren't even interested in taking fingerprints, despite the fact that there was damage inside the car and property was stolen out of it.

      Good for you, Finland.

      Not like Finnish police have anything better to do. There are no good donut shops in Finland.

    • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:05PM (#26206827)
      Agree, my car was stolen, whilst parked next to an occupied Police car, I was only away from it for about 10 minutes. Did I get any assistance? Nope. They "Didn't see anything". Good old Hampshire Constabulary.

      I got it back about 3 weeks later, well "got it back" isn't quite accurate, it was a burnt out wreck. Guess who had to pay for it to be removed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Silentknyght (1042778)

      My girlfriend's car was stolen a number of years ago, and when it was recovered, the police weren't even interested in taking fingerprints, despite the fact that there was damage inside the car and property was stolen out of it.

      Good for you, Finland.

      No shit. My car was--"hotwired" and stolen--used as a getaway car for the criminal or criminals, who had stolen several thousand dollars worth of stereos & merchandise (not even counting the damage caused) from cars in a locked garage at my apartment complex.

      There were used cigarettes (I don't smoke), a grimy bandanna, and other periphenalia in the car, and the cops didn't do jack shit. I want to move to Finland.

    • by bwcbwc (601780)

      It's the dark season up there now. Nothing better for them to do, I guess. In fact, now that I think about it, this must be really old news. Mosquitos in Finland all died months ago from the cold.

  • Too many factors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero@@@yahoo...com> on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:51PM (#26206695) Homepage Journal
    I could see the mosquito based evidence as enough to consider him a suspect, maybe even to get a search warrant perhaps (although that's already a stretch), but by no means should this even remotely count towards conviction as that mosquito could have come from almost anywhere. Still if finding the DNA in the mosquito leads them to find actual evidence, I suppose it's okay.
    • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:56PM (#26206763) Journal

      ...that mosquito could have come from almost anywhere...

      Considering the medium, it could have come from a tax official.

    • Re:Too many factors (Score:4, Informative)

      by Restil (31903) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:01PM (#26206797) Homepage

      It was enough to question the guy, who admitted having been in the car, so the mosquito has proven to be a positive lead. Of course, the mosquito does not explain WHY the guy was in the car, but he could have left behind his wallet with ID and still used the same story.

      -Restil

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MikeUW (999162)

        I doubt the investigators who questioned the guy said to him 'we found a mosquito with your blood in it...care to explain?'.

        More likely they would have said 'we have DNA evidence that places you in the car...care to explain?'.

        At which point, the guy probably is thinking they've got something indisputable...so he tells/makes up his story.

      • No, it's worse than that. It doesn't even show that he was ever in the car.

    • Re:Too many factors (Score:4, Informative)

      by jadavis (473492) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:00AM (#26208409)

      by no means should this even remotely count towards conviction as that mosquito could have come from almost anywhere

      Huh? It's called "circumstantial evidence".

      1. Car was stolen.
      2. They identified someone who was not the owner, and associated him with the car.

      There could be a million completely reasonable stories about how it arrived there, so it's not "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". However, it is real evidence, and the jury can weigh it along with everything else.

      Similarly, if you find a murder weapon in someone's car, they might not have done it. Maybe they are being framed. Maybe it was stolen, used, and put back. However, that's for the jury to sort out.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday December 22, 2008 @07:51PM (#26206705)

    Shouldn't the story title contain the word "alleged"? As of this posting it does not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daimanta (1140543)

      Someone who disapproves of a witch hunt?! He must be one of them! Tie him to an anker and see if this wickedness floats or not!

      • anker? (Score:4, Funny)

        by commodoresloat (172735) * on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:03PM (#26206811)

        how do you tie someone to 8-1/2 gallons of liquid??

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Daimanta (1140543)

          Step 1. Write a comment with a spelling mistake
          Step 2. Attempt to correct said spelling mistake
          Step 3. Fail to correct said spelling mistake
          Step 4. ????
          Step 5. Profit

          Now if only I figure out step 4, I could make millions of spelling mistakes and then retire comfortably.

        • how do you tie someone to 8-1/2 gallons of liquid??
          1. Freeze the liquid?
          2. Leave it in the container?
          3. Match their DNA to epithelials found in the liquid?
          4. With a rope?
          5. Tie them to nine gallons of liquid and then take half a gallon away?

            /

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          With 37 moose ankles.

      • *sarcasm disclaimer*

        "Tie him to an anker..."
        Which type of anker [wikipedia.org] are you referring to? The car, or 10 gallons equivalent of beer, or (unspecified amount of) Indonesian beer, or the river Anker?
        It could make a big difference on the demonstrated and expected results here.

        If it was a typo, did you mean wanker, cranker, canker, or what?

        It's not funny until you learn to communicate so that your audience can understand what you meant.

        I think the word you were looking for could be anchor [wikipedia.org], from the context of your p

    • by retech (1228598) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:29PM (#26206985)
      No, it was an actual mosquito.
  • circumstantial evidence and to top it off... one really really stupid guy.

    Mosquitoes are a winged creature. That means they fly. They are also attracted to human beings since they can detect us at ranges up to 40 miles. The fact that the mosquito was in the car is laughably circumstantial evidence. It could never even hold up in court.

    What I find funny is the guy even admitted to being in the car. Unless the guy confesses to actually stealing the car I doubt a jury will convict based on a mosquito.

    Afte

    • by Restil (31903)

      Nobody is going to get convicted based on a mosquito. If he's convicted, it'll be based on the testimony he gave that he was in fact in the car. The mosquito would only come into play if the defense tries to claim there was no probable cause to question him in the first place..

      If he hadn't admitted being in the car, or claimed otherwise, THEN the blood sample from the mosquito would play into court during the trial, and yes, without additional forensic evidence (fingerprints, etc), it's unlikely the mosqu

    • by hey! (33014)

      It appears to me that you are using "circumstantial evidence" almost as a synonym for "weak evidence". That is not necessarily the case.

      Circumstantial evidence is evaluated in light of other assertions, and can be quite convincing with respect to specific assertions. For example, if the defendant asserts he could not have stolen the car because he'd been out of the country during the time the car was stolen, the forensic evidence of the mosquito, along with expert testimony from a mosquito biologist abo

    • by cenonce (597067)

      Mosquitoes are a winged creature. That means they fly. They are also attracted to human beings since they can detect us at ranges up to 40 miles. The fact that the mosquito was in the car is laughably circumstantial evidence. It could never even hold up in court.

      You just wrote your cross examination of the cop who thinks this is good police work.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquitoes [wikipedia.org]

      Your statements don't seem to match up against reference.

      • by EdIII (1114411) *

        Wikipedia is NOT reference. It is user-generated content. Never assume Wikipedia is 100% complete, or a *reference* for anything. Wikipedia is good for a quick review of certain subjects. However, one would do well to remember you are far betting off actually researching the links yourself for more information. Wikipedia is a good place to start to get your bearings on your search for truth. It's not your destination :)

        "Ochlerotatus sollicitans: Oc. sollicitans is a saltmarsh breeder found primarily i

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          I know it's nice to bash Wikipedia. It does really threaten payed authors as it is far more updated than even the most recently published book or article. While there are very likely edge cases or uninteresting articles with one author that has many mistakes, high traffic Wikipedia articles are going to typically be far better than any other reference available. And they will also include a large list of further references to follow.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:01PM (#26206791)

    Its not just the fact that the persons DNA was extracted from the mosquito, but that it had not yet expelled it as waste. It wasn't digested if it still contained DNA usable for testing.

    This means that they had a timeframe from which to work. Where was dude while buggy critter was digesting his blood? No alibi? Hah!

    • by Restil (31903)

      They already know where he was, he told them. He was IN THE CAR. The question is whether or not he stole the car, or was just getting a ride from whoever had stolen the car and had no idea it was stolen. If in fact he's telling the truth, the only likely alibi he could have would be the actual thief. He probably shouldn't bank on THAT guy showing up to testify on his behalf. :)

      -Restil

  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:11PM (#26206863)
    I knew I couldn't trust those Skeeters! They swore they just wanted a taste of the red stuff. A now look, turning states evidence! Little blood-thieving bastards!
  • by deft (253558) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:18PM (#26206909) Homepage

    Seems like a simple case...

    extract blood
    grow clone
    compare characteristics
    ???
    justice!

    can i add one more bullet?
    make raptors!

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday December 22, 2008 @08:19PM (#26206917)

    Maybe he would have talked?

    Or maybe the poor critter is enjoying a vacation at a resort in Cuba now.

  • damn, global warning is worse than i thought.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday December 22, 2008 @09:12PM (#26207377) Homepage
    I'm more concerned as to why his DNA was in the system at all. The article didn't seem to say.
  • by JavaManJim (946878) on Monday December 22, 2008 @09:19PM (#26207441)

    If that mosquito with its DNA and that miscreant were here in TX, this person would never get indicted for car theft. Here if they find fingerprints its probably much like the mosquito DNA. Those only mean the person was IN the car. The DA will happily file "possession" of a stolen vehicle. Its rarely "theft" because its difficult to prove someone stole the car.

    So "possession" is really what we should be discussing here. That's way down on the proof scale.

    The only regular automobile thefts that are indicted here are those bait cars that the police leave parked here and there. They have video and remote turn off.

    Jim

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ma8thew (861741)
      Firstly, as people have said previously in the thread, the mosquito digests the DNA in the blood within hours of eating it. That implies that the suspect was in the car recently. Secondly, the DNA provides a lead, even if it cannot later be used as actual evidence.
  • Rrriight... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tug3 (567419)

    It's interesting to see that Yahoo News says it's quoting AFP on this one. What would be more interesting to hear if this is actually a AFP "news" or not. - And if so, it would be very interesting to hear who on AFP was drunk enough to come up with this... =)

    Unfortunately stealing a car for joyriding in Finland is not a very big offence. Actually it's not even called stealing, but "unlawful use of motor vehicle". And I dare say the police would even have time to check a car's interior, let alone hunt for

    • by juhaz (110830)

      It's interesting to see that Yahoo News says it's quoting AFP on this one. What would be more interesting to hear if this is actually a AFP "news" or not. - And if so, it would be very interesting to hear who on AFP was drunk enough to come up with this... =)

      Have you been living in a barrel for the last week? AFP did not make up this. It was in the Finnish media a few days before it became an international hit.

      And BTW. It's December here in Finland (like I guess it's in most parts of the world), and the mosquitoes died by September...

      Of course, since all of this happened in summer, that's hardly relevant. Someone just happened to dig out a juicy tidbit out of the police archives only now.

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