DNA on cigarette connects man to crime scene: police

JOHNSTOWN – State police said a man was arrested?Sunday after a cigarette connected him to a crime scene.

Robert?E.?Steele, 44, of Johnstown was charged with second-degree burglary, a felony.

In June, troopers received a report of a possible burglary at a camp in the town of Edinburg. A man said he noticed the rear door was kicked in and the inside of the camp was ransacked, police said. Old record turntables and several antique books were missing, police said.

Police said a trooper noticed a cigarette butt inside the camp and secured it as evidence. The trooper was told no one smoked in the camp.

In July, troopers located the vehicle described by witnesses, police said. In August, troopers interviewed Steele. Steele provided a DNA sample for comparison to the DNA profile obtained from the cigarette butt, police said. A report later matched Steele’s DNA to the DNA from the cigarette butt, police said.

Steele denied any involvement in the crime and could not explain how his DNA was found at the crime scene, police said.

Steele was arraigned in Northampton?Town?Court. Steele was sent to the Fulton?County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $7,500 bond.