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Monterey County Obtains "John Doe" Warrant

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Generally, in California, the statute of limitations for filing charges for burglary is three years. Failing to bring charges within the statute of limitations would normally bar the state from prosecuting the alleged crime.

Monterey police suspect a person has been committing a series of burglaries. Police have no idea of the identity of the person who police believe has committed a violation of the California burglary law on a number of occasions. Although police have no idea who may have been involved in the alleged incidents, law enforcement has obtained a "John Doe" warrant based upon a DNA profile.

According to Sgt. Bill Clark, it it's the first case where DNA evidence has been used in Monterey County to obtain a warrant. In January, the California Supreme Court upheld the use of a "John Doe" warrant in a case arising in 1994.

Monterey police reportedly collected unidentified evidence after an alleged burglary at a hair salon last year. Police claim someone broke a window of the salon between 4:50 and 7:39 p.m. on November 20, 2009.

Police reportedly obtained a DNA profile from what they call evidence collected at the salon and matched that DNA profile to an alleged burglary at a San Mateo furniture store and an alleged burglary at a salon in Los Altos.

California law allows law enforcement to collect DNA samples from people who are arrested for a felony. Many states require a conviction be entered before a DNA sample can be taken.

Earlier this month, law enforcement submitted the DNA profile and obtained an arrest warrant for an alleged otherwise unidentified "serial burglar." The warrant reportedly will allow the state to prosecute the alleged November 20, 2009, burglary in the future, regardless of how much time has passed if law enforcement finds a purported DNA match.

Source: Monterey Herald, "DNA used to obtain Monterey burglary arrest warrant," Daniel Lopez, 11 Dec 2010

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