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Prolific L.A. burglary suspect chemically treated his hands to avoid leaving fingerprints, LAPD says

October 29, 2010 |  8:09 am

A man suspected in at least two dozen burglaries was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department after he allegedly hit the same florist in downtown L.A. twice. They said they discovered he had avoided detection so long by treating his hands to avoid leaving prints.

David Wiggins, 51, was arrested this week after he allegedly  broke into the Orchard to Orchard floral shop.

“Wiggins’ arrest ended a five-month crime spree, involving nearly two dozen burglaries,” Lt. Paul Vernon said in a statement released by the LAPD. “When officers booked Wiggins, they noticed he had chemically treated his hands in an apparent attempt to remove his finger and palm prints.”

Despite altering his hands, Wiggins was identified by officers from videotape footage from several burglaries, police said.

He had allegedly hit the same shop in August, leading Vernon to add in the statement: “Wiggins made me a believer in the adage, 'The crook always returns to the scene of the crime.'''

Wiggins faces commercial burglary charges.

Related: Check out crime statistics in downtown L.A. and in your neighborhood.

Downtown crime totals over the last six months:

Violent crimes (556)
Property crimes (1,696)

--Shelby Grad