Toothbrush DNA Brings Hotel Room Bill-Dodger to Justice

DNA from a forgotten toothbrush helped police find a man who attempted to leave a hotel without paying

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Stuart Minzey / Getty Images

When a sly hotel guest used a fake name and managed to slip out of his room without paying, he probably thought he had gotten away with a classic sleep-and-dash. Unfortunately, he left behind a very essential item: his toothbrush. And there was enough DNA left on the bristles to identify and arrest the would-be bill dodger.

According to the Daily Mail, 29-year-old Stephen Evans constructed a false identity—“Paul Jones of Chester”—and checked into a $50-a-night guesthouse in Llandudno, a seaside resort town in Wales, for three nights. After two days, he surreptitiously left without paying. Investigating officers noticed the abandoned toothbrush, and forensic testing match the DNA to Evans. Julie Hughes, the prosecutor in the case, said Evans claimed he needed a place to stay because his mother had kicked him out of his family home, the Daily Mail reports.

Evans has admitted to not paying, and he pleaded guilty to a separate theft charge for stealing a $800 phone from a nearby bar. He has been ordered to pay $100 in compensation to the hotel and $96 in costs. He has also been placed under a curfew for four months that prohibits him from going out between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Evans may have had to pay up, but at least his offense was slightly less serious than a Saudi princess’ attempt to evade a $7.4 million hotel bill earlier this year.

 MORE: Man who skipped paying hotel bill nabbed through toothbrush he left behind