DNA testing identifies armed robbery suspect one year later

Medford Police reported 23-year-old Andrew Kyle Beck was arrested on Tuesday, as a suspect in a Woodland Heights Market armed robbery in April 2018. (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

Medford Police reported 23-year-old Andrew Kyle Beck was arrested on Tuesday, as a suspect in a Woodland Heights Market armed robbery in April 2018. After the crime, police said the suspect jumped over the counter, robbed the cashier at knifepoint, and then fled the area on foot.

As a convicted felon and on probation for burglary, Oregon State Police crime lab technicians were able to match his DNA to a discarded item worn by the suspect.

"That was a break in the case that we needed," Lt. Mike Budreau said. "We really didn't have a lot to go on."

Budreau said DNA testing has been monumental in solving their backlog of open cases.

"As technology advances, so does the ability to collect DNA," Budreau said. "We can have smaller and smaller samples that will give us a better and better profiles. We also have more and more offenders that are entering the database that we would have to search from."

Budreau said the crime lab prioritizes testing based on the nature of the crime, so the time frame for turnaround for DNA testing varies on a case-by-case basis. For example, he said an armed robbery would take precedence over a burglary or theft.

"It's one thing to get a DNA hit, it's another thing to get a DNA hit that matches to an actual person," Budreau said. "And, in this case, a person that's local and a person who is on probation. It really lined up well for us."

The Medford Police Department said Beck has been charged for robbery in the first degree, with bail set at $100,000.

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