Cat burglars beware

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DNA evidence has proven so useful in police work that, the US Department of Justice is developing a bank of DNA culled from ordinary house cats, reports the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER.

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No, there isn’t a feline delinquency problem spreading across the US. It turns out that criminals who own cats frequently have cat hair on their clothes, just like law-abiding cat owners. Some of that cat hair winds up at crime scenes, and can provide important clues to solving a crime if it can be traced to an individual cat, and from there to its owner. The DOJ is asking cat owners to voluntarily send in a sample of Fluffy’s genetic material (although why the criminally inclined would do so is a mystery).

Cat-based crime fighting has already borne fruit: A man in Canada was convicted of murdering his ex-wife, based partially on the fact that hair from his cat, Snowball, was found at the murder scene. Snowball was questioned and released.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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