Half-eaten piece of ham leads to conviction of Clark County burglar


Call him the real life ham-burglar — a Clark County man has been found guilty of ransacking two homes after leaving behind DNA evidence on food and eating utensils.

Joseph Marlowe, of Medway, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary last week, after breaking into the two different homes.

“I guess he went into both of the burglaries hungry,” said Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll. “In one home he cooked a steak and left behind a fork he was cooking and eating with, and then in the second home he took a big bite out of a piece of ham.”

Driscoll said residents of the second burglary were surprised when they arrived home to find the half-eaten piece of ham on their corner.

“Both of them had a ‘wait a minute’ moment and turned it over to detectives who sent it off to the lab,” Driscoll said.

That’s when the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation used DNA-evidence on the ham and utensils to identify Marlowe. DNA found on a piece of food left behind at a crime scene is a first for Clark County, Driscoll said.

“We’ve seen cases of stolen food or drinks, but I’ve never seen a case of getting a DNA hit off of a piece of food that was left behind,” Driscoll said.

Marlowe will be sentenced on Aug. 2. He was not listed as an inmate in the Clark County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

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