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JAY COUNTY, Ind,. — Indiana State Police have arrested a man on theft charges, and they used a new state law on the use of DNA from people who are arrested to do it.

The state legislature passed a law during the 2018 legislative session that made it legal for police officers to take a DNA sample from people simply arrested for a crime without having to wait for charges to be filed by the prosecutor. 

Back in January, ISP began an investigation into a stolen trailer from the Jay County fairgrounds that belonged to Loy Auctioneering. Sgt. Ron Galaviz with the ISP district in Fort Wayne said the trailer was found a few days later in Delaware County where they found DNA samples and fingerprints.

“Then in July, that DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, as an unknown profile” Galaviz said. “About a week after doing that, we got a hit if you will.”

Galaviz said the DNA sample was matched to 22-year-old Thomas Wright, who had been arrested in an unrelated trailer theft in Jay County back in April. 

“We got a search warrant to collect additional DNA samples from Mr. Wright,” Galaviz said. “We were able to corroborate that it was Mr. Wright’s DNA that we found in the stolen trailer from the fairgrounds.”

Wright has been arrested and charged with theft. 

(PHOTO: Indiana State Police)