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signature crime n
: any of two or more crimes that involve the use of a method, plan, or modus operandi so distinctive that it logically follows that the crimes must have been committed by the same person NOTE: Evidence of other criminal acts is usually not admissible against a defendant. Evidence of other crimes to prove that the crime in question is a signature crime committed by the defendant, however, is usually allowed.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.