Oi! Burglars: ‘do the washing-up… or stick to chocolate’

That’s the startling conclusion of researchers at the National University in La Jolla, California. It turns out that it’s pretty common for burglars to get the munchies while on a job and I can sort of understand that. Many victims of burglary find that it’s the creepy sense of personal space being invaded that makes them shudder far more than losing a few (often well insured) possessions. And this is true of so much crime. People know it makes no sense to leap on the bonnet of their car as a thief drives it off, but this 83-year-old have-a-go hero couldn’t help himself. And neither could this dead holiday maker. Brave, yes, but very silly.

So I can understand the reverse being true. There must be a real buzz and adrenaline rush as you break and enter somebody’s home to rifle through, and help yourself to, their possessions. And an animalistic satisfaction in ransacking the fridge and, with certain bravado, half-eating what ever takes your fancy (it would have to be left unfinished, don’t you think?).

Anyway. This university’s deployed a crack team of investigators to maximise the evidence such behaviour leaves behind. Saliva offers the hope of good quality DNA, but can be compromised by certain foods. Burglars probably won’t be too sorry to cut out apples and carrots, but I imagine pizza will come as a blow. Meanwhile, chocolate can be half eaten with impunity.

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