2017-08-10 / Community

Burglar’s undoing? Failure to flush, police department says

No. 2 made man TOPD’s No. 1 suspect
By Becca Whitnall


‘AH CRAP’—Police used DNA taken from a stool sample to link Andrew Jensen, 42, of Ventura to an October 2016 burglary in T.O. 
Courtesy of VCSO ‘AH CRAP’—Police used DNA taken from a stool sample to link Andrew Jensen, 42, of Ventura to an October 2016 burglary in T.O. Courtesy of VCSO In the last two weeks, the Thousand Oaks Police Department has arrested two men on suspicion of two separate home burglaries based on items left at the scene. In one case, the suspect left a personal pharmacy receipt. In the other, what was left behind was something altogether different.

Police say that during an October 2016 burglary, in which he entered a Cottonwood Court home via a doggy door, Andrew David Jensen relieved himself in the toilet and failed to flush, allowing deputies to get a fecal sample to test for DNA.

“DNA identity technology has obviously advanced over the years,” Detective Tim Lohman said. “Samples can be taken in a variety of ways.”

After members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s forensics bureau extracted a DNA profile, they submitted the results to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System to see if they could get a match with Jensen, who was already familiar to the department, Lohman said.

Then they waited.

“There are a couple of factors that may cause delay,” the detective said. “Often it’s that there’s a backlog of cases and it takes time to run it through a system and match it up with a profile.”

On July 25, the California Department of Justice notified TOPD investigators that the DNA profile matched Jensen.

Authorities took Jensen into custody July 26.

The 42-year-old Ventura resident pleaded not guilty at his July 31 arraignment to one count of first-degree residential burglary, according to court records.

As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., he remained in police custody with bail set at $70,000. Because he has a prior felony conviction, Jensen is looking at an enhanced sentence if convicted.

Because of the uncommon nature of the DNA sample, Lohman said, the arrest is getting more attention than usual.

“Most people think DNA would come from a hair sample or blood or sweat, but nobody ever thinks it could come from things like feces and stuff like that,” he said. “How many people would imagine we’d get it not from a body fluid but solid?”

Return to top