Police Use DNA to Catch Alleged ATM Thief

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines police have arrested the man they believe stole an ATM from the Iowa Events Center because of what he left behind.  Police released surveillance video after the burglary, but the real break in the case came thanks to science.

"During the commission of that act the suspect left blood on the wall, I think near where the ATM had been located," said Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Department.

Police sent a sample of the blood to the state crime lab to be tested. "That DNA was submitted to the state system," Halifax said, "We got a hit on that and it came back to an individual named Scott Mills."

Mills is a 47-year-old career criminal with a long list of arrests for drugs and theft. His latest arrest happened in December when police say he broke into Tony Mauro's Collision Center on Second Avenue. He left some blood behind there too, after scrapping with an employee who spotted him inside.

"I get here at about 4:30 in the morning and I notice that there's somebody took off running in the shop so then I noticed the glass was broken out so I sat out and waited," employee Scott Brioch said.  Broich called police just as he says Mills tried to run away while holding a tire iron.  "He ran out the side door so I cut him off with my car and he turned around and broke the windshield of my car and took off running across the street."

So Broich and a coworker chased Mills, tackled him and bloodied his nose a little.  "He was wanting us to let him go," Broich recalls,  "He told me he'd pay for everything and I was like, 'if you were going to pay for everything you wouldn't have been in there stealing so I'm not gonna let you go.'"

With this latest arrest Brioch  hopes Mills isn't released from jail for a long time. "Now he won't be stealing from anybody for a while."

Police recovered the stolen ATM, but doubt they will ever find the stolen money that was inside.

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