Sun, Jul 16, 2006 - Page 6 News List

German police collecting DNA from 100,000 men

DPA , DRESDEN, GERMANY

Police in Germany yesterday began to collect DNA samples from up to 100,000 men in a bid to catch a rapist who targets pre-teen girls.

The progressive laboratory tests of men living in and near the German city of Dresden could become one of the world's biggest DNA dragnets.

Police obtained the offender's "genetic fingerprint" after he raped girls aged 9 and 11.

Police and commercial laboratories are to compare that DNA with 6,000 saliva samples per month until police find a match.

The first group of 3,108 men aged between 25 and 45 who were living near the scene of the rapes last September and January, began giving samples yesterday.

Another group of 3,129 men were told to report to police stations next week to provide samples.

DNA analysis is reliable because there is only a one-in-500 million chance that two men will have exactly the same genetic signature.

Police however admitted the method would be fruitless if the offender was from out of town.

In an earlier case, German police tested 18,000 men till they caught a man who had murdered a child.

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