DNA data entry snafu fingers innocent man

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) A registration error in the DNA database of the National Police Agency prompted the Kanagawa Prefectural Police to obtain warrants to arrest an innocent man and search his house over a robbery case, local police said Saturday.

The man, in his 30s, was investigated in January as the police found his DNA data matched that detected from articles left at the crime scene at a Yokohama restaurant, where ¥30,000 worth of items were stolen, according to the police.

But they refrained from arresting him as he denied the allegations and they could not find sufficient evidence.

The police then cross-checked the NPA data and his biological data, which he submitted on a voluntary basis, and found they did not match.

The local police had collected his DNA data in October 2007 after he was arrested for violating a traffic law, and are believed to have mixed it up with another person’s when registering it in the NPA database.

It remains unknown whose DNA data was incorrectly registered, according to the police.