DNA leads to burglary arrest

By: By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION COUNTY — A Lockhart man has been charged in connection with the 2015 burglary of a house in Lockhart involving the theft of more than $11,000 worth of jewelry after being linked to the crime by DNA evidence.

In a statement released Tuesday, Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced that his office had used DNA evidence to arrest Jack Jenkins Rowland, 49, 213 S. First St., Lockhart, on the charges of burglary and grand larceny value $10,000 or more.

Taylor said that Rowland has been arrested in connection with the burglary of a residence in Lockhart that occurred in February 2015. He said the arrest was made based on evidence that was recovered from the scene that yielded DNA singling out Rowland.

Taylor said the evidence collected by investigators at the crime scene was turned over to the York County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Laboratory for analysis. He said the analysis provided a positive match-up of the DNA from the burglary scene which, together with other evidence provided through the investigation, resulted in the arrest of Rowland.

Taylor also said that while DNA and other evidence that requires additional scrutiny and analytical effort is usually sent to SLED, the existing backlog of cases under review by the agency led him to decide to send it to York County. He said he did this in an attempt to speed up the analysis of the evidence by using another fully accredited law enforcement laboratory to provide closure in the case.

Taylor said that the fact that the burglary occurred in February 2015 and Rowland is only now being charged is a reminder of just how long an investigation can take before an arrest is made.

“Because of the level of effort required locally and other outside agency involvement, some of the cases that we work can take more than a year to result in charges” Taylor said. “This case is a great example of the hard work our deputies and investigators do at the incident scene collecting evidence and information that is followed up by months of behind the scenes coordination with other agencies to produce results.”

Taylor said Rowland was taken into custody at the end of February of this year and released on bond at the beginning of March. He said what distinguishes this case from others is that DNA was used to break the case and lead to an arrest. While Rowland was a suspect from the beginning, Taylor said he would not admit to the crime and was not charged until after the DNA was analyzed.

The incident Rowland is charged in connection with occurred sometime between 6 p.m. Feb. 18, 2015 and 7 p.m. Feb. 19, 2015. The incident report states that a deputy responded to a residence on S. 1st Street, Lockhart on Feb. 19, 2015 in reference to a burglary. Upon arrival, the deputy spoke with the complainant who told him that he came to his residence the previous night around 6 p.m. to winterize the plumbing because no one was living there at the time. The complainant said that when he left, everything seemed to be in order.

When he returned the next evening, however, he noticed that someone had broken in. The report states that a window on the porch appeared to be the point of entry because some items in the front of the window had been moved, the window was unlocked, and the screen window had been removed and balled up in the corner of the porch.

The report states that upon closer inspection it appeared that numerous items inside the residence had been moved around and gone through. It further states that a locked cedar chest containing a large amount of jewelry had been broken into and some of the jewelry was missing.

The report stated that the jewelry taken had a total value of $11,750.

It states that an investigator was called to the scene and fingerprints and other evidence gathered. The case was then sent to investigations.

Incident happened in February 2015

By Charles Warner


Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.