Tobacco Spit Helps Nab Suspect

Wednesday, December 24th 2008, 1:39 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Investigators in eastern Oklahoma used some unusual evidence to catch a suspect in a string of burglaries -- tobacco spit the suspect left at crime scenes.

Randy Shoopman Jr. of Tahlequah is now charged with second-degree burglary in six eastern Oklahoma counties. He's a suspect in robberies in as many as 11 cities in Oklahoma and

Stilwell police detective Chad Smith says while investigating the burglary of an insurance office he saw a tobacco stain and knew none of the women in the office chewed tobacco.

A sample of the spit was sent for testing and Smith spoke with Tahlequah police who already considered Shoopman a suspect in other robberies.

Police got a warrant to get a DNA sample from Shoopman which eventually connected him to several burglaries.

Shoopman left Oklahoma before the DNA match but has been arrested in California on an unrelated charge.