JPD: DNA leads to arrest in year-old burglary case

JPD: DNA leads to arrest in year-old burglary case
Doug Claude (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department via Vinelink)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - He's accused of stealing two laptops but police say a commercial burglary suspect left behind a crucial piece of evidence.

Jonesboro police say DNA led to an arrest in a year-old burglary case in town.

One June 6, 2016, the owner of Jumping Jelly Bean Pediatric Therapy Clinic reported someone broke into his business and stole two laptops and other items. Combined, the stolen items were worth more than $1,000.

"During this investigation, blood was found on a light switch and the wall of an office in the business," court documents state. "The blood was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for analysis and a report was later received which stated the blood DNA profile matched the DNA profile of Doug Claude."

More than a year after the reported theft, police interviewed Claude in an effort to understand how his blood could have been inside the clinic.

A probable cause affidavit states Claude told police he doesn't have children who go to the clinic.

"He did tell me he had done some plumbing work at a few businesses in the area and could not remember if this business was one of them," court documents state. "I asked him if he ever cut his hands while working and he told me he did sometimes."

Police spoke to the business owner again, who said he didn't remember anyone doing plumbing work during the time the burglary occurred. He added that if they had, Roto-Rooter would have been the company to perform the work.

The owner also told police he knew for certain the blood found on the light switch and office wall was not there the day prior to the burglary and theft.

Claude, who was released from custody on his own recognizance, appeared before a Craighead County District Court Judge Friday.

The judge found probable cause to charge him with commercial burglary and theft of less than $5,000, but greater than $1,000.

Both counts are Class C felonies. If convicted, he could face 3-10 years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Claude's next court date is August 29.

He advised the judge he plans to hire his own attorney.

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