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Police in a CT town say copper thief undone by discarded drinking straw, new technology

By: Jesse Leavenworth

Published: Feb 13. 2024

WINDSOR LOCKS — Windsor Locks police say a suspected thief who stripped copper parts from commercial air-conditioning units gave himself away by leaving a drinking straw at the scene.

Time-saving DNA testing technology helped police track down the suspect, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday.

Jason Myslenski, 37, described in the warrant as a convicted felon with a long record of crimes in Connecticut and Massachusetts, was charged Friday with first-degree larceny and first-degree criminal mischief. Myslenski posted a $20,000 bond and was due to appear in Superior Court in Hartford on Feb. 23, according to court records.

The theft was reported on Jan. 9 at a commercial building on Concorde Way. Police said the building owner showed an officer torn-up condenser units that were missing copper piping and parts, totalling $20,000 in damage. The owner also pointed to a 7-Eleven coffee cup next to the ruined condensers. Snow fell in the area on Jan. 6 and 7, but the cup did not have any snow on it, indicating it had been left recently, Det. Heriberto Resto wrote in the arrest warrant affidavit.

Police swabbed a red straw found in the cup and a multi-tool found at the scene for DNA, and took the items to the Rapid DNA Lab at the Hartford Police Department for testing on Jan. 10, Resto wrote. On the same day, police were told that DNA from the straw matched Myslenski, whom Resto knew from a previous narcotics investigation, according to the warrant.

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