Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 10, 2014

DNA from a cigarette butt leads to arrest in ATM theft

Mark McNew faces several felony charges stemming from the Dec. 17 theft.

By Mike Fletcher
Kokomo Tribune

---- — DNA from a cigarette butt found in a stolen ATM led to the arrest of a Kokomo man.

Indiana State Police Detective Josh Rozzi said the DNA on the cigarette matched that of Mark McNew, 28 who now faces charges of burglary, theft and possession/receiving stolen property.

The charges stem from a three-month investigation into the Dec. 17 theft of an ATM from a Marathon gas station in Bunker Hill, Rozzi reported.

According to Rozzi, a man entered the closed gas station by breaking out a window shortly after 2 a.m. The man then removed an ATM and put it in a vehicle before leaving the scene.

The next day, the ATM was located abandoned in a barn near Galveston. The ATM had been forcibly opened and the cash inside removed. ISP Sgt. Tom Kolb, a crime scene investigator, located a partially burnt cigarette inside the ATM as he was processing it and the barn for evidence. Kolb submitted the cigarette to the Indiana State Police Regional Laboratory in Fort Wayne for DNA testing.

In January, Kokomo police arrested McNew on a charge of attempted burglary at Gas America at Ind. 931 and Sycamore Street. McNew was allegedly attempting to steal the ATM, according to Kokomo police arrest records.

McNew also is a suspect in a third ATM theft on Christmas from the One Stop Express on North Washington Street in Kokomo.

In that case, a man broke out a window and removed the ATM using a tow strap. The Jeep Cherokee that McNew was driving at the time of his arrest matched the description of a vehicle seen at the Marathon burglary and near the barn where the ATM was found, Rozzi reported.

After securing a search warrant, Rozzi obtained McNew’s DNA, which matched the DNA on the cigarette.

“This case was solved because of cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies and the outstanding scientific work conducted by Indiana State Police DNA analysts,” Detective Rozzi stated in a news release. Rozzi also commended the public for their willingness to provide information about this case.

Howard County sheriff deputies arrested McNew on a Miami Superior Court 2 arrest warrant for two felony charges for burglary and theft. A Cass Superior Court I arrest warrant charged McNew with a felony count of possession/receiving stolen property.

Mike Fletcher, crime and courts reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8565 or mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com