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DNA from glove leads to arrest, conviction of robbery suspect

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 17:13:39-05

Jesse Daniel Lugaro

Jesse Daniel Lugaro

Virginia Beach, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was found guilty of attempted robbery and three counts of abduction and use of firearm after a two-day trial, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach.

The jury fixed Jesse Daniel Lugaro, 33, at 46 years in prison. Circuit Court Judge Padrick will formally sentence Lugaro on June 6, 2016.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that just before 9 p.m. on May 26, 2003,  Lugaro forced his way into the back door of a Subway on 4878 Princess Anne Road.

Three employees were inside of the restaurant, closing the store for the night.

Lugaro wore a mask and latex gloves.

He pointed a gun at the employees and locked two of them in the freezer. He forced the third employee to open the cash register. The register was empty because the employees already completed the cash drop for the night. When Lugaro lifted the register drawer to look from money underneath, he accidentally fired his gun at the register.

He ran out of the Subway empty-handed.

During the robbery, Lugaro tore his glove, leaving behind a small piece of latex. Virginia Beach police collected the latex fragment and it was maintained in the Property and Evidence division.

In 2003, the latex fragment was sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to determine if DNA testing could reveal a suspect. The DNA was placed in a data base and Lugaro was found to be a match in 2013. At the time, he was in the Virginia Beach jail awaiting trial for other crimes.

Lugaro is currently serving a 27-year sentence for three counts each of robbery and use of a firearm from a home invasion robbery case that happened in Virginia Beach on November 16, 2012. He also has convictions for three counts of common law robbery and attempted common law robbery from North Carolina.