Whodunnit? Twins deny DNA theft link

A police investigation into the theft of £10,000 of watches has been scuppered after DNA evidence was found to belong to identical twins.

Blood containing DNA matching that of James and John Parr, 25, was found on glass at the scene. However, the Crime Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided not to press charges against the Manchester twins – who both deny responsibility – as it would be impossible to determine if one or the other of them was responsible.

"The police told us they suspected it was one of us but we both denied it," said James, a father of one. "I didn't do anything wrong. I was watching my daughter that night." He said his job at JD Sports had been called into question. "I had to explain to work that I had been arrested," he added. "I'm angry about it. I think it's wrong that I had to explain myself for nothing."

John also denied responsibility for the crime, which took place at Bury's Mill Gate shopping centre last November. He refused to comment further.

Rob Pett, a spokesman for the CPS, said: "DNA tests showed that the blood belonged to one of two identical twins. However, both suspects denied the offence and provided statements. Unless further evidence becomes available, we are unable to authorise any charge."

Mr Pett added: "This is certainly not something we regularly encounter."

Identical twins have hindered police investigations a number of times since the advent of DNA testing. In Malaysia last year, a man suspected of drug-smuggling and sentenced to death was released when the court could not prove whether it was he or his twin brother might have committed the crime.

Three masked men broke into Kaufhaus des Westens, a Berlin department store, last year and smashed open cabinets before making off with an estimated £4.5m worth of jewellery and watches. Police found sweat on a latex glove used by the criminals and ran the DNA through their databases. Two matches were found but it could not be determined which twin had committed the crime.