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DNA database leads to arrest of suspect in December rape

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A West Toledo man paroled from prison last year was arrested yesterday, a day after authorities said DNA evidence collected from a sexual assault in December was matched to his DNA in a state crime lab database.

Vance L. Collins, 50, of 2427 Trenton Ave., was charged with one count of rape in connection with a Dec. 3 assault on a 56-year-old woman at a residence in the 3100 block of Elm Street in North Toledo. He was arrested without incident at his home about 2:30 a.m. yesterday, Toledo police Sgt. George Kral said.

Collins was being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond after arraignment in Toledo Municipal Court. He declined a request for an interview.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation notified the sergeant Tuesday that it had a DNA match on evidence from a rape kit taken from the victim. The woman was getting ready to go to work about 5 a.m. Dec. 3 when she heard a knock at the door and thought it was a neighbor's child, Sergeant Kral said.

When she answered, an unknown man forced his way inside and sexually assaulted her, the sergeant said. He then took her car, wallet, and cell phone. The car was later recovered, he said.

The victim, who was treated at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ohio began collecting DNA from inmates imprisoned on felony convictions in 1996. It joined the national DNA profile system, known as Combined DNA Index System, in 2000. The first match came a year later, said Bob Beasley, spokesman for the Ohio attorney general's office.

There are 60,555 DNA samples from Ohio inmates in the database, Mr. Beasley said. He said he expects the number to increase when House Bill 525 takes effect May 18, requiring all felons and people convicted of some serious misdemeanor offenses to submit DNA.

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