SANTA FE (KRQE) - Police think they've found the man who's been breaking into homes across one city, all because of a cigarette butt.
That tiny piece of evidence and the DNA on it were left behind at a crime scene back April.
Now the results are in, and they point to more than just one case.
The cigarette butt was collected by Santa Fe police investigators after the burglary of a home belonging to a nonsmoker.
"When we sent it to the lab, we actually got a DNA hit back, and it linked it to a known burglar, Kenneth Martinez," Sgt. Andrea Dobyns said. "We now have a search warrant for his DNA."
The burglary happened at a home near the intersection of Airport and Country Blub roads where the thief broke down the door and stole a laptop computer, X-Box and $15,000 worth of jewelry.
Police said they believe Martinez is responsible for three home burglaries in June, thousands of dollars in stolen jewelry and a car chase.
They suspect he may be linked to more crimes but so far can't prove that.
"Any charges we can get, it helps when you present it to a judge," Dobyns said. "Again, he is a known burglar, but with the actual evidence to link him it really helps us a lot."
Police are executing the search warrant need to get a DNA sample from Martinez, who's currently in jail on three previous burglary charges.
If the warrant confirms it is Martinez's DNA on the cigarette butt, he will face additional charges
The recent DNA match could also link Martinez to a Santa Fe home burglary in 2011, and another in Santa Fe County in 2006, police said.
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