DNA Evidence Leads to Identification and Conviction of Jewelry Store Heist Suspect in Fall River

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney

Press Release

October 4, 2016

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a 32-year-old Fall River man who stole $50,000 worth of jewelry from a city jewelry store has been convicted in Superior Court and sentenced to serve three to four years in state prison.

On Monday David Sinclair pleaded guilty to an indictment, charging him with breaking and entering during the nighttime to commit a felony and larceny from a building.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Morrissette and the sentence was handed down by Judge Raffi Yessayan.

On September 9, 2014 at 3:55am, Fall River Police responded to Columbia Jewelry at 60 Columbia Street for an alarm.  Upon arrival, police observed the front entrance plate glass door had been shattered and three glass jewelry display cases were broken into.  No one was present in the business when police arrived. 

Multiple pieces of jewelry were stolen, including rings, bangles, 10 gold necklaces valued at $5,000 each, a Portuguese curb chain valued at $15,000, and a gold cross.  The total value of the stolen jewelry was approx. $50,000. 

Fall River Police Detective Thomas Burns located a partial fingerprint on one of the glass cases and entered it into the database. The partial fingerprint, however, did not return any candidate match.

Detective Burns continued his investigation and observed a small amount of blood on the broken glass inside one of the jewelry cases and swabbed the it for possible recovery of DNA evidence.  The swabs were sent to the state crime lab for analysis and were found to match the defendant’s DNA profile. Detective Burns later confirmed with the business owner that the defendant did not work at the store, leaving no reason for his blood to be found at the location.

“This is an example of modern technology solving a crime that would otherwise remain unsolved. I would like to thank Detective Thomas Burns for his thorough processing of the crime scene, which enabled the defendant to be charged through the CODIS system,” District Attorney Quinn said. “If a defendant has been convicted of certain prior crimes, his or her DNA profile is in the state database. In this case, blood from the scene was uploaded and the suspect was identified. This is a huge asset in solving many house and business breaks.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications