DNA evidence prompts New Milford police to charge Oxford man…

An Oxford man was recently charged with a November 2014 robbery of a New Milford gas station after he was linked to the crime through DNA evidence, police said.

Michael Warga, 25, of 43B Christian St., was arraigned last week in Bantam Superior Court and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and fourth-degree larceny.

The charges stem from a November 2014 robbery of the Valero gas station at 28 Danbury Road, according to an affidavit. In investigating the incident, police determined that a man entered the store, held an employee at gunpoint and demanded he open the cash register.

“Once the cash register drawer was opened the male took the money and then told (the employee) not to do anything, count from one to (50) without moving and nothing bad would happen to him,” wrote New Milford Detective Mark Lynch in the affidavit. “The male then fled out of the store.”

The suspect was seen in surveillance footage wearing a dark zippered hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, boots, dark gloves and a dark hat, according to the affidavit.

K-9 Officer Michael Lafond and his partner, Kira, began to search the area and found a black hat, two black gloves and a black article of clothing that seemed to be a jacket or sweatshirt. These items were later brought to the Connecticut Forensic Laboratory, where they returned a DNA profile, which was entered into state and national databases, police said.

The DNA profile from a glove was found to match those from similar robberies under investigation in Naugatuck and Prospect, according to the affidavit. Two further robberies in Ansonia were thought to have been committed by the same person.

In March 2017, a positive match for Warga, incarcerated at the Bridgeport Correctional Center, was determined to correspond for the aforementioned cases.

Warga was found to have a criminal history in Florida and Connecticut, according to the affidavit, with past charges including larceny, possession of marijuana and assault.

A warrant had already been completed for a DNA sample for Warga, according to the affidavit. In May 2017, that sample was compared to the DNA collected on the hat and gloves gathered from the November 2014 robbery and the resulting report “showed that Michael Warga’s DNA was located on all of the aforementioned items,” according to the affidavit.

Warga’s case was transferred to Litchfield Superior Court last week, according to court records, and bail was set at $10,000. He is next scheduled to appear in court Aug. 31.

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