Cigarette Butt Does In Burglar a Year Later

DNA on a cigarette butt left at the scene of an Evanston burglary linked to 61-year-old Chicago man

By Michael Kaplan
|  Monday, Nov 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:54 PM CDT
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    The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but also exceedingly fine for one Evanston resident.

    Nearly a year after police found a finished cigarette at the scene of a burglary in the 2100 block of Sherman Ave., a crime lab has traced DNA evidence on the butt back to a 61-year-old Chicago man, according to Evanston police.

    John Bernard Lathon was charged with one count of residential burglary, police said.

    On Sept. 11, 2010, a burglar broke into the apartment, taking a Dell laptop computer, two backpacks, a blue pillowcase and about $8 in cash.

    The victim called the police and said she smelled cigarette smoke, adding that no one in her apartment smoked. When police searched the apartment, a single butt was found and was submitted to the State Police Lab for a DNA comparison.

    Police said that they were notified on Sept. 6, 2011 that the DNA matched Lathon, who was on parole at the time of the burglary.

    Lathon was taken into custody and is scheduled to appear at the Skokie courthouse on Dec. 1.

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