Thieves left behind some tasty evidence for police in Franklin County. Investigators say a chicken dinner helped crack a theft case.

The case started on May 6. An old factory on Truevine Road was broken into and a breaker box worth thousands of dollars was stolen.  But the crooks left something behind. Investigators found a half eaten rotisserie chicken.

"It was very fresh, very fresh and the people don't routinely use the business," says Investigator Gary Shively.

The chicken's packaging was from a Food Lion. Investigator Shively narrowed it down to the Food Lion in Bassett.

"We went through some surveillance tapes and saw the three men with that chicken and packaging," says Investigator Shively.

Investigators collected DNA from all three men and one of them matched evidence found at the crime scene.  This week Alan Dale Vernon was arrested. He is charged with breaking and entering along with larceny.

Investigator Shively expects more arrests and it was all thanks to a craving for chicken.

"I've had fresh beer cans help me solve a case but a half-eaten chicken I think this is a first time," says Investigator Shively.