FPD News Release: DNA points to suspect in Walgreens ATM theft
During the early morning hours of October 8, 2011, three masked men rammed a stolen pickup truck through the glass doorway of the Walgreens at the corner of FM 518 and FM 528. The men then lifted the ATM into the back of the pickup truck. A short distance away at Old City Park, the suspects then transferred the ATM to another vehicle and left the stolen truck in Old City Park. Four months have elapsed and now a suspect is in custody.
The suspects likely thought that they had gotten away with the burglary; but what they didn’t know is that one of the suspects left behind enough of his identity that it would just take investigators some time to find out who he was.
DNA evidence was recovered at one of the crime scenes. The evidence was submitted to a private laboratory for analysis. Police officials felt that this burglary was so brazen that waiting sometimes more than a year for DNA analysis from the State laboratory was not an option. Once the DNA evidence was processed, the results were placed into CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System and in early February, the Department received a preliminary report from CODIS that was verified by DPS. The report identified the DNA as belonging to Scott Lance Bennett, age 26, who resides in Houston, Texas.
With the verified CODIS information in hand and video evidence obtained from the Walgreens crime scene, an arrest warrant was obtained. Bennett’s DNA information was already in CODIS because he previously served a six-month State Jail sentence with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Since Monday, Friendswood police officers, with assistance provided by Galveston County Precinct 8 Constable Jerry Fisher’s office and the Houston Police Department, pieced together information to determine Bennett’s whereabouts. Bennett was arrested by Houston Police in the 7600 block of Curry in northeast Houston at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Bennett was turned over to Friendswood police and booked into the Friendswood City Jail.
He has been charged with Felony Theft. His bond is set at $20,000.