Spring Pollen in the Southeast Makes It Hard for Police to Get Fingerprints

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Heavy pollen across the U.S. Southeast this spring is giving criminals a helping hand.

The yellow dust coating cars and porch furniture also makes it hard for police to collect fingerprints at crime scenes, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

"There was too much pollen on the car to get prints," one officer wrote in a recent report about thieves stealing the tires and rims from a car at an Athens, Georgia apartment complex.

Officers run into this problem each spring, when trees send out their pollen, but, the volume of pollen this year is making it especially tough for officers as they look for fingerprints that could identify a criminal, Kim Coder, a professor of tree biology at the University of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, told the newspaper.

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Though some areas got rain over the weekend, the pollen problem is not quite over, Coder said.

"Once those flowers dry, they will release pollen again and continue to do so until pollen season is over, probably in mid-April," she told the newspaper.