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Earprints allow German cops to nab alleged serial burglar

MAINZ, Germany -- A burglar behind a $650,000 crime spree has been nabbed through matches of DNA, fingerprints and earprints, German police told NBC News on Monday.

Authorities allege the culprit put his ears to doors and windows in order to find out whether anyone was home before raiding the properties.

Dozens of earprints – in addition to DNA samples and fingerprints gathered at the crime scenes – helped investigators tie the suspect to at least 96 break-ins between July 2009 and July 2011 in northern Germany.

The 33-year-old suspect, who is a Macedonian citizen, is accused of stealing jewellery, cash and high-end electronic devices worth a total of $650,000. He was arrested in December 2011 after allegedly breaking into a building in the northern German city of Kiel but has now been identified as the suspect in series of burglaries.

"Earprints are almost as unique as fingerprints and can be important evidence, as this case shows," Hamburg police spokeswoman Ulrike Sweden told NBC News.

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