DNA From Blood At Smashed Window Leads To Arrest In Norwalk Burglary

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Police arrested a Norwalk man and charged him with the burglary of a liquor store on Main Avenue.
Police arrested a Norwalk man and charged him with the burglary of a liquor store on Main Avenue. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- A Norwalk man has been charged with the October 2013 burglary of a liquor store after he left blood at the crime scene when a window and liquor bottles were smashed, police said.

Anthony Mendoza, 44, was charged with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree larceny and second-degree criminal mischief. He was held on $50,000 bond and will appear in court Sept. 15.

The arrest stems from an incident at a liquor store at 235 Main Avenue on Oct. 25, 2013.

Officers responded to a burglar alarm that went off at 2:39 a.m. and found that the front window to the store had been smashed with a pair of 10-pound weights in plastic bags, police said. Several wine bottles on display in the window were also smashed, police said.

After speaking with the owner, officers discovered that a bag containing $2,000 in cash had been stolen.

Investigators found blood on the bags the weights were in, as well as on the window, the floor and the counter, police said. They also found a footprint near the broken window, police said.

They collected samples of the blood and sent it off to the state forensic lab to see whether it matched anyone in the database. 

In July, police received a report from the lab that the blood matched the DNA of Mendoza. Police received a warrant to obtain a swab of DNA from Mendoza to confirm the match. They obtained the sample and sent it back to the state lab.

On Aug. 25, they received a confirmation that Mendoza's DNA matched that found at the crime scene, and they obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Mendoza was taken into custody at his home on Butler Street on Wednesday without incident, according to police reports. He told officers that the blood was not his and that he did not commit the burglary, according to police.

Police also received information that Mendoza was wanted on warrants in Nevada and New York. The warrant in Nevada was on a charge of violation of probation stemming from a 2005 arrest for attempted robbery, according to police. Police said he would not be extradited to Nevada because Nevada extradites from bordering states only.

The warrant in New York was for violation of parole stemming from a robbery arrest, according to police reports. Norwalk police are working with New York police to extradite him for those charges.

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