Thirsty burglar’s soda break puts him in can for 5 years


WILLBARGER CO. (KFDX/KJTL) — The pause in his burglary work may have refreshed the thief, but the soda he drank also sends him to prison for five years.

Patrick Cole Mitchell, 35, of Vernon, was sentenced by 46th District Judge Dan Mike Bird after he pleaded guilty.

The case of the burglar’s soda can was opened in 2018 when a burglary was reported at a Foard County Ranch.

A deputy noticed an open soda can left out on a counter, and swabbed it for DNA.

The DNA was placed in a data-base, and for weeks it appeared the case had fizzled out.

Then a match came back to Mitchell, who by this time was in a cooler in Mississippi on another charge.

District Attorney Staley Heatly was bubbling with praise for Deputy Perry Shaw who noticed the soda can and wondered if it had been opened by the burglar.

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