Zachary police arrested a man in a string of burglaries in 2012 after a DNA swab taken in a recent arrest linked him to the 2012 crimes, Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said.

Police could not connect Chesly Gilbert Davis, 24, to the burglaries, which occurred between June and December of that year at the Copper Mill Country Club, until another agency arrested Davis in another theft.

The unidentified agency took a DNA sample from Davis that linked him to the country club burglaries, McDavid said. Once taken into custody, Davis confessed to burglarizing the country club seven times, and Zachary police arrested him Tuesday.

“We had seven break-ins and were able to get DNA on two of the cases,” McDavid said.

On two separate occasions, in July and August 2012, Zachary police were able to take DNA samples from the scene of the crime, first from a door and later from stains on pieces of glass at the scene. The samples were sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for comparison, but the DNA showed only that the burglar was male.

Later, though, when the agency arrested Davis in another simple burglary, another DNA sample was taken and entered into a national DNA database, the Combined DNA Index System. Zachary police did not know which agency made the arrest.

“When he got arrested recently by an agency, they did a swab, and it matched up to our cases,” McDavid said.

McDavid said swabbing suspects is common.

“We got a CODIS hit from the DNA we submitted to the crime lab, and we had enough for an arrest warrant,” McDavid said.

Zachary police were notified of the match June 16, and state District Judge Richard Moore signed a search warrant June 19 to collect saliva from Davis based on the CODIS match.

Davis, 1040 Myrtle St., Baker, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on seven counts of simple burglary at the Copper Mill Country Club house, 2100 Copper Mill Blvd.

McDavid said Zachary police readily use both fingerprints and DNA in their investigations now, though violent crimes still take precedence at the crime lab.

“Taking DNA is becoming close to being the same as taking fingerprints,” McDavid said. “We do both of them, and we go from there.”