It cant get bizarre than this! Police in Taiwan conducted $585 DNA test to catch the culprit who stole a $2 bottle of yogurt last week. The incident took place when a woman sharing a student house with five other women, found out that someone had been consuming the yogurt without her permission.
The unnamed woman then fished the empty bottle out of the dustbin and asked the culprit to come forward. When no one came forward, she took the empty bottle to police and asked them for help. They immediately accepted and agreed to investigate.
Police started collecting fingerprints on the bottle however, the container was too wet to obtain fingerprints. The woman then asked police to carry out a DNA test on her housemates.
Accordingly, the police asked all of the five suspects and the woman to come to the police station and their DNA samples were taken, BBC reported. The police was finally able to identify the culprit and charged her with theft.
This move created public outrage in the city as each test costs $98 and is funded by the taxpayer.
“It is a waste of society’s resources. If I was a police officer, I would have just bought her a bottle to reimburse her,” One local, Liu, told Apple Daily Newspaper.
A local unnamed police officer said using DNA test in the case was like “using a cannon to shoot birds – it is not really in line with the principle of proportionality!”
Describing his case as an “unheard of waste of police and investigative resources,” Former Central Police University professor, Yeh Yu-lan said “It is difficult to follow the principle of proportionality, but when it involves the rights and obligations of the people, the police still have to do it.”
Taiwan News spoke to locals who too felt it was a absolute waste of resources.
“ I would just buy her a new bottle of yogurt or my roommates and I would raise the money to buy her a dozen. They were being a little too cautious. It was too much of an expenditure of manpower and material resources,” a 30-year-old unnamed public school teacher said, when asked about the expensive DNA test.
“Spending so much of the public’s money on such a small case, if it was me, I would have taken responsibility for the cost,” a 23-year-old man surnamed Kung said, adding the woman should have covered the cost of the DNA tests.
According to the Taipei City Police Department, DNA acquisition and testing is the most expensive form of evidence collection in the city which is followed by drug testing.