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DNA from mask leads to arrest in 2013 New Castle robbery |

DNA from mask leads to arrest in 2013 New Castle robbery

DNA evidence from a robber’s discarded mask helped lead state police in New Castle to the man they believe committed the crime.

Mikal Petronelis, 22, of New Castle is accused of holding up a Sheetz convenience store on U.S. Route 422 in October 2013.

State police say he pointed a pistol at a cashier, demanded money, then fled in a Pontiac Grand Am.

Troopers found a mask near the back of the store that they say Petronelis wore during the robbery.

Officials at the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab in Greensburg linked him to the robbery using DNA evidence from the mask, according to state police.

Petronelis was required to submit his DNA to the state database after a 2006 burglary arrest, state police said.

Petronelis is charged with robbery, aggravated assault and other counts. He is being held at the Lawrence County Jail on a $50,000 bond. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

Tony Raap is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7827 or

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