MANATEE -- Investigators were able to identify and arrest a burglary suspect Wednesday because he drank several sodas while stealing firearms, electronics and other valuables during a break-in in September, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
On Sept. 22, the victims left their home in the 5200 block of Aqua Breeze Drive for work at 8 a.m. and returned just after 5 p.m., according to an arrest report. While they were gone, someone forced open the back door and ransacked their entire home, gathering electronics, jewelry, three firearms, fishing equipment and other valuables. The fishing equipment alone was worth $2,500.
Several soda cans that the suspect drank from were left in the kitchen and living room areas, deputies said. Victims said the cans were not there when they left for work and they did not drink them, so the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Forensic Unit took them for DNA testing.
The tests came back Tuesday, identifying a DNA profile for Christopher Carpenter, 33, according to the report. The victims do not know Carpenter and never gave him permission to come to their home.
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"The chance that an unrelated person, chosen at random from the general population, would be this DNA profile is approximately 1 in every 1.7 quintillion individuals," the report said.
Carpenter was arrested Wednesday in Palmetto and charged with armed burglary. He is being held in the Manatee County jail on $20,000 bond.