Police track down people for their DNA samples in Nassau County

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In an exclusive report, Kristin Thorne rode along with officers hunting for DNA samples.

The Nassau County police officers are looking for people who may not want to be found.

They're trying to track down those who owe their DNA to Nassau County Police.

There are about 1,300 people who haven't done so.

"Many people don't want to give it because they know they've committed other crimes and they know there's a possibility that the DNA may have been left behind," said Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder, Nassau County Police Department.

Then there are people who've committed smaller crimes, DWI, insurance fraud and shoplifting, who don't realize they actually owe DNA.

Police tracked one woman down in her neighborhood in East Meadow.

They took her DNA while she was in her car.

They can do that because it's quite a simple process which police demonstrated for Eyewitness News.

"We'll have the person remove the swab themselves; we'll explain to them that they need to rub the swab on one side of their mouth for 10 seconds to get cells on each side. Then I take the swab, wearing gloves and I will swab it," Det. Sgt. Ryder said.

The DNA sample is then put into a national database. In New York police say for every 100 DNA samples which are collected, investigators are able to solve one major crime.

If a burglary pattern is happening in the Levittown area we'll then go out and say, who has open warrants, who is on probation or parole, but the other thing is who has open DNA in the neighborhood ," Det. Sgt. Ryder said.

It's not a glamorous job but certainly it's an important one.
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policeDNAEast Meadows
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