DARIEN — DNA analysis helped Darien police arrest a 50-year-old Bridgeport man for a 2012 car break-in in Darien.

On Oct. 24, 2012, Darien police went to Thorndal Circle, where a 2005 Honda Pilot in a private parking area near an office complex had its driver’s-side window smashed and its airbag removed from the steering wheel. Police said the suspect was after the airbag specifically.

While investigating and processing the vehicle, Darien police found a blood-stained gauze bandage next to the windshield. Detectives thought the gauze might have fallen off the suspect as he climbed out the car to avoid triggering the alarm. Police seized the bandage as evidence, and sent it to the state forensic lab for DNA analysis.

On Aug. 14, 2014, police were notified the DNA on the bandage belonged to Jose Cruz, who police found had an extensive criminal history with similar crimes, including a previous arrest for stealing a vehicle from the parking lot of Hindley School in Darien.

Officers believe Cruz targeted Thorndal Circle, a cul-de-sac office complex with no public parking or cut-throughs, so he would have no other legitimate reason to be there.

Based on this information, detectives applied for and were granted an arrest warrant for Cruz.

In June, Cruz was arrested in southern New Jersey based on the Darien warrant. After a long extradition process, on Tuesday, Darien officers took custody of Cruz and brought him to Connecticut on the outstanding charges. He was charged and processed on charges of third-degree burglary. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond.

ekayata@hearstmediact.

com; @erin_kayata