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DNA evidence on hat, cloth match man charged in robbery

May 26, 2010

HAGERSTOWN -- An armed robber's disguise provided DNA that led to the identification of a suspect in a December 2009 holdup of the Sheetz store at 1396 S. Potomac St., according to allegations in court documents filed this week by Hagerstown City Police.

Matthew John Comegys, 22, of 151 Doub Way, was charged Monday with armed robbery, robbery, theft of less than $1,000, carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault in the Dec. 2, 2009, robbery, according to the application for statement of charges filed in Washington County District Court.

After the holdup, a Maryland State Police dog led investigators to a black baseball cap and a red piece of cloth in a field near the store, according to the application. The hat and cloth matched the description of what the man who robbed the store was wearing as a disguise, the application said.

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Police sent the baseball cap and cloth to Bode Technology, which developed a DNA profile that was forwarded to the Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory for entry into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), according to court documents.

Police were notified May 13 that Comegys' DNA matched that found on the hat and cloth, the statement said.

Comegys has been at the Washington County Detention Center since Dec. 3, 2009, the day after the robbery, a detention center official said.

The robbery was reported shortly before 2 a.m., court records show. A man entered the store wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt, a black hat and a red mask, pulled a knife on an employee and demanded cash, the court documents show.

The employee gave the man $326 and the man left, running into a field behind the store, according to court documents.

Surveillance video also showed images of a man wearing clothes matching the description approaching, entering and leaving the store, court documents show.

Comegys was in District Court for a bond review Wednesday, and his bond remained at $90,000, Assistant State's Attorney Leon Debes said. Comegys is at the Washington County Detention Center serving a sentence on an unrelated conviction, Debes said.

Comegys' next District Court appearance is scheduled for June 22.

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