Listen Up! Earprints Identify Burglar

The ear, via Science Direct
Hear no evil
If you’re the type who likes to listen at keyholes, there’s something you need to hear: Police in Kiel, Germany, identified a burglar by the earprints he left at crime scenes.

Before he entered a home, the 33-year-old burglar would press his ear against the front door, listening for signs that the house was occupied. If it wasn’t, he’d break in and help himself to jewelry, cash, and other loot. What he didn’t realize was what he’d left behind: an earprint as unique and incriminating as any fingerprint or DNA evidence could be.

Now, we hear that thanks to those earprints the police can link him to 96 burglaries accounting for more than half a million dollars worth of stolen goods.

Sounds like the jig is up.

Hat tip: Spiegel Online. Image via

Leslie Gilbert Elman is the author of Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous, and Totally Off the Wall Facts. Follow her on Twitter @leslieelman.

See all posts by Leslie Gilbert Elman for Criminal Element.


  1. Saundra Peck

    Amazing… Congrats to those who are always trying to find new ways to bring the bad guys to justice. Love this one!!!

  2. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    From 2002 to 2005 there was a project called FearID (Forensic Ear Identification) conducted in Europe by researchers from the Netherlands, Italy, and the U.K. It was a start on creating standards for identifying earprints. The system is new and it’s not infallible, but sometimes it works – and this story proves it!

  3. Jennifer Proffitt

    I’m pretty sure this happened in an episode of CSI as well. I’m glad that some things are actually true that I learn on TV!

  4. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Everything on TV is based on fact. Especially the zombies.

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