Reckless raider stole car in burglary, crashed it two miles away - then got tracked down using saliva found on airbag

A reckless raider who stole a car before crashing it less than two miles away was snared by a drop saliva left on the vehicle’s airbag.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 1:12 pm

David McCully crept into a West Boldon home in the dead of night and swiped the keys to a Vauxhall Insignia that was parked outside.

But the brazen 28-year-old – who had no licence or insurance – crashed the car less than two miles away on Cranleigh Road in Sunderland.

An investigation was launched when officers arrived at the scene and found the damaged car with no occupants present - and it soon transpired that it had been stolen and the driver had made off.

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The police launched an investigation after finding the crashed car with no sign of an owner.
The police launched an investigation after finding the crashed car with no sign of an owner.

The car was seized and studied by the Force’s forensic experts who found the tiniest drop of saliva on the air bag that had been deployed as a result of the crash.

That came back as a match to McCully, who was subsequently arrested and charged in connection with the break-in which occurred on September 16 last year.

McCully, of Ribble Road, Sunderland, initially admitted he was the driver when the car crashed but denied he was responsible for the burglary.

However, with the weight of evidence against him overwhelming, he pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence and no insurance when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on March 19. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court on May 17.

Police charged after forensics found the tiniest drop of saliva on the air bag

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Detective Sergeant Chris Raper-Smith, of Northumbria Police, said: “This once again highlighted how the advancement in technology and forensics help us every single day in catching criminals and detecting crime.

“In this case, the tiniest drop of saliva was found on the air bag of a stolen car and this conviction is the result of some truly outstanding work by our forensic experts.

“There is absolutely no place for this type of offending. We know burglary is an intrusive crime and I would like to thank the victim in this case for their cooperation throughout.

“I hope they can take some comfort in knowing the man responsible has been convicted at court. He now faces a likely prison sentence when he is sentenced next month.”

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