DNA ties suspect to hit-and-run, burglary

A man from Kansas is accused of crashing a stolen vehicle on South Whidbey, running from the scene of the accident and burglarizing a nearby house — where he stole clothes and took a shower — in September 2018, according to court documents.

Investigators were able to tie the crimes to the suspect, Robert. A. Janzen, 38, after DNA results of discarded clothes were returned this year.

Prosecutors charged Janzen in Island County Superior Court Aug. 29 with residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and hit and run.

If convicted of the charges against him, Janzen could face up to seven years in prison under the standard sentencing range.

On Sept. 6, 2018, the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban rear-ended a Kia on State Highway 525 at the intersection with Campbell Road. The Suburban driver got out and ran into the woods, according to the investigators. Law enforcement that responded to the scene searched for the driver but could not find him.

Officers discovered that the Suburban was missing from a used car lot in Everett.

The owner of a house near the scene of the crash later discovered that someone had slept in his bed, used his shower and his razor, stole clothes and left behind dirty clothes that matched a description of the garments worn by the driver of the Suburban, an investigator’s report states. The state crime lab found Janzen’s DNA on the left-behind clothing, court documents indicate.

The homeowner also reported that someone stole his pickup truck. A resident of a community in California later reported that a man had taken a motorcycle he was selling on a test drive and left the pickup as collateral; the man never returned with the motorcycle.

Court documents indicate Janzen has an extensive criminal history in Kansas.

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