A south-central Iowa man is facing numerous charges after DNA evidence linked him to a January crime where he allegedly attempted to steal two ATMs from a business in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. Clive police chief Michael Venema says they filed charges against 47-year-old Scott Allen Mills after finding blood at another business where Mills allegedly stole a truck, and they also found a ski mask found in the abandoned truck.
“We collected that blood evidence and that ski mask and submitted them to the Iowa DCI Crime Lab to check DNA,” Venema says. He says the DCI processed the material and ran it through the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and found a match for Mills. “Many times when people get arrested or convicted of certain offenses they are required to submit a DNA profile to the CODIS database. And that way if they get involved in a crime later on that their DNA is left behind, we get a match,” Venema says. “It’s kind of like when you get booked you put your fingerprints on file, it’s sort of the same idea, but using DNA evidence.”
Venema says Mills used the stolen truck to knock over two ATMs inside the Seven Flags Events Center, and had one in the back of the truck when he was discovered and fled. He rammed and disabled two patrol cars as he got away. “We were fortunate that neither of our officers were hurt. He did intentionally ram two police cars with a large truck and the officers definitely could have been hurt — he had no concern for the safety or the well-being of the officers when he did that. Plus he led officers from a number of jurisdictions on a very dangerous pursuit,” according to Venema.
Mills escaped into a wooded area in New Virginia following the pursuit. He was found in the Polk County jail on charges for another incident after the DNA match was discovered. The crime happened almost six months ago, and Venema says unlike television where things are solved in one episode, it sometimes takes a little waiting to process all the evidence. “I only wish we could take care of it in about 50 minutes plus commercials — but this kind of scientific evidence does take a lot of time. There is a lot of volume at the state crime lab and you have to wait in line with everyone else and it does take months to get that evidence processed,” Venema says.
Mills is charged with third-degree burglary, two counts of felony assault on a peace officer with a weapon, second-degree theft and felony eluding. Bond was set at $50,000.