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DNA evidence leads to Racine 2016 armed robbery suspect

DNA evidence leads to Racine 2016 armed robbery suspect

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RACINE — DNA evidence received from the state crime lab has helped lead police to a suspect in a 2016 armed robbery on Northwestern Avenue.

Because of that evidence, Vanshay M. McMorris, 30, of the 1100 block of Frederick Street, is now charged with one count of armed robbery, a Class C Felony.

According to the criminal complaint:

The owners of the Citgo Gas Station at 2240 Northwestern Ave. opened their store at 5:50 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2016. The owner said he left the door unlocked while he was counting money on the counter.

According to the complaint, while the owner was counting money, McMorris entered the front door, drew a black semi-automatic pistol from his left hoodie pocket and pointed it at the two owners.

McMorris then allegedly opened the window between the employee area and the rest of the store, jumped into the employee area, took the cigar box containing the money and then jumped back over the counter.

Racine police responded to the scene where an officer found a plastic piece that looked like those that cover the area of a magazine that’s inserted into a gun. The plastic piece was swabbed for DNA, which was sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for analysis.

Then, on Oct. 24 of last year, an investigator collected a mouth swab from McMorris, which was later sent to the crime lab, and, on Jan. 20 of this year, the state crime lab submitted a report identifying McMorris as the source of the DNA on the magazine cover.

McMorris has two prior robbery convictions from 2011 and 2007. Officers reviewed the gas station’s surveillance images of the robber, which reportedly fit McMorris’ physical profile.

At his initial appearance on Friday, McMorris’ bond was set at $5,000. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 8.


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