Doctors have warned for years that cigarette smoking can harm your health.
Now, it turns out smoking can send you to jail, too.
This bizarre story started innocently enough on Nov. 17, 2021 when Bedford Police officers answered a call in Bedford, Indiana to investigate a report of someone entering a vehicle.
The owner of a 2008 Corvette, kept parked in his garage, told police he hadn’t smoked for years but noticed two cigarette butts just outside the doorway of his garage. After filing the report, he made sure the Corvette was locked, but two days later, he went back into the garage and noticed two more cigarette butts and ashes in the car’s cup holder.
On May 18, 2022, a lab report confirmed the DNA found on the butts belonged to Zachary Thompson, 25, of Bedford. Police eventually interviewed Thompson on June 8 at First Baptist Church, but he told them he didn’t remember entering the garage or the Corvette and refused to submit a DNA sample for comparison.
On June 21, the cigarette butts were compared by the Indiana State Police lab to items in another case involving Thompson, and on Aug. 24, the results came back and confirmed the two DNA samples matched.
The next day, a Bedford investigator updated the Corvette owner about the case, and the owner asked about the cigarette burns on the car’s carpeting, which he said cost him $2,000 to repair the damage inflicted when the suspect discarded the butts.
The investigator, unaware of that damage, forwarded the information to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, a warrant was issued, and Thompson was subsequently arrested on charges of criminal mischief and unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle.
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