Forensics: The Chocolate Factory Case

Apr 18, 2013 - by Liz Porter - 0 Comments

How bite marks can lead to convictions.

by Liz Porter

Criminals are regularly nabbed because they make stupid and careless mistakes. The burglar who robbed a safe at the up-market Haigh’s chocolate factory in the South Australian capital city of Adelaide is a perfect example. He was caught by his own bad manners. On his way to burgle the establishment’s safe, he toured the factory’s display area, helping himself to samples and biting into several chocolate bars. He then threw the uneaten leftovers on the floor – from where police collected them. If he had taken his uneaten chocolate home – or neatly disposed of it in a rubbish bin – he might never have been caught.

The robbery took place on a weeknight in early February 1996. Office staff arriving for work at the inner suburban factory the next morning discovered that an intruder had broken in through a skylight. He had used an axe and jemmy to bash the alarm system off the wall and had then overturned the office safe, making a hole in its back and removing the $1,800 inside. The workers also spotted the partially eaten chocolate bars the thief had dropped on the floor, and noticed that he had also stolen chocolate from a display area nearby.

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