DNA evidence from a dropped bandage has led to the arrest of a suspect in a Darien vehicle burglary four years after it occurred.
On Oct. 24, 2012, the Darien Police investigated a motor vehicle burglary of a 2005 Honda Pilot that was parked in the private parking area of Thorndal Circle. The vehicle had its driver’s side window smashed out and the airbag removed from center of the steering wheel.
The investigation of the incident included the vehicle being processed by Darien Police Detectives. Located on the hood of the vehicle, next to the windshield, was a blood stained gauze bandage.
Based on its location and condition, detectives believed the gauze bandage had fallen off the suspect as he climbed out of the victim’s vehicle to defeat the alarm system. The gauze bandage was seized as evidence and subsequently sent to the State Forensic Lab for DNA analysis.
On Aug. 14, 2014, this agency was notified that a DNA “hit” was generated on the blood stained bandage that had been recovered. The analysis of the DNA identified Jose Cruz, 50, of Bridgeport, as a suspect. It was then determined that Cruz had an extensive criminal history involving similar crimes.
Police noted that Thorndal Circle is a cul de sac office complex wherein there would be no legitimate reason for Jose Cruz to be on the property at that location. It does not have a public parking area and is not a cut-through to any other location.
On March 9, 2011 a Toyota Rav4 was stolen from the parking lot of Hindley School in Darien. Jose Cruz and a second subject were arrested by New York Police Department. later that same day for the possession of the stolen Toyota. This arrest suggested that Cruz had been in Darien on prior occasions. Based on this information, detectives applied for and were granted a warrant for Cruz’s arrest.
In June of 2016 this agency was notified that Cruz was arrested in Southern New Jersey as a Fugitive From Justice on the strength of our arrest warrant. After a lengthy extradition process was approved, on Jan. 10, 2017, Darien officers took custody of Cruz returning him to Connecticut to face the outstanding charges. He was charged and fully processed for Burglary 3rd Degree and held on a $25,000.00 bond.