DOJ requires second DNA test before arrest in vandalism case

ROSA — Before they can make an arrest, Santa Rosa police must await the results of a DNA test from blood evidence found in the parking lot where Sonoma County vehicles were badly damaged more than a year ago.

On Dec. 23, 2009, a suspect used rocks and pieces of concrete to smash the windows of 62 county vehicles parked at the County Center, resulting in more than $40,000 in damage. During the investigation, police recovered blood evidence from several of the county vehicles and other sources around the crime scene.

“When detectives were unable to develop any other significant leads to identify a suspect, they submitted the blood evidence to the (California Department of Justice) laboratory in an effort to identify a suspect through DNA,” said Sgt. Mike Lazzarini of the department’s property crimes division.

From the blood samples the DOJ develops a DNA profile that is run through the department’s database to produce a candidate list and investigative leads.

On Jan. 13, the DOJ notified the Santa Rosa Police Department that a DNA profile from the blood evidence matched 59-year-old Alan Snowden, a Santa Rosa area transient.

Snowden is currently serving a six-month at the Sonoma County jail for vandalism last October at the Grocery Outlet in Santa Rosa.

That day detectives attempted to charge Snowden with felony vandalism associated to the incident at the County Center, but were required to drop the charges until the DOJ confirmed that current DNA sample match that found at the crime scene.

“It can take up to a year for the DOJ to provide the results,” explains Lazzarini. “Fingerprints are a faster turnaround.”

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