Commonwealth v. Jesse Daniel Lugaro; DNA from Torn Glove Left Behind in Robbery Leads to Arrest, Conviction

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Jesse Daniel Lugaro, 33 years old, formerly of the 1500 block of East Bridle Creek Boulevard in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found guilty of Robbery (Attempt) and three (3) counts each of Abduction and Use of a Firearm after a two-day jury trial.  The jury fixed his punishment at 46 years in prison.  Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick, who presided over the trial, will formally sentence Lugaro on June 6, 2016.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that just before 9:00 p.m. on May 26, 2003, Jesse Dcaniel Lugaro forced his way in the back door of the Subway located at 4878 Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach.  Three employees were inside, closing the store for the night.  Lugaro wore a mask and latex gloves.  He pointed a revolver 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 had already completed the cash drop for the night.  As Lugaro lifted the register drawer to look underneath, he accidently discharged his firearm at the register drawer.  He fled Subway empty-handed. During the robbery Lugaro managed to tear his latex gloves, leaving behind a small piece of latex. The latex fragment was collected by the Virginia Beach Police Department and maintained in the Property and Evidence division. 

Investigators did not immediately establish a suspect.  In 2003, the latex fragment was submitted to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to determine whether DNA testing would reveal a suspect.  A DNA profile was developed and the case remained open until 2013 when Lugaro’s DNA was placed in the DNA database and found to be a match.  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 (3) counts each of Robbery and Use of a Firearm from a home invasion robbery case that occurred in Virginia Beach on November 16, 2012. He also has convictions for Common Law Robbery (3 counts) and Common Law Robbery (Attempt) from North Carolina.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael D. Defricke.  Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.