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DNA helps Livingston police nab alleged video store robber

A 20-year-old man was arrested in Livingston on Wednesday in a 2010 armed robbery case, police said.

Derek Valentine was wanted in the Oct. 25, 2010, robbery of the Flicks and Licks Video store on F Street, where police say he threatened staff with a gun and took about $200 from a cash register. During the robbery, police said, he wore a bandana around his face and held what was later found to be a pistol pellet gun, according to Sgt. Ray Fong.

The next day, a citizen informed police that clothing and a pellet gun were found in a back yard, a block away from the video store. The clothing items were sent to a Department of Justice lab and tested positive for Valentine's DNA about a week ago. Police obtained an arrest warrant for Valentine, and located him walking on the street Wednesday. He was taken into custody.

During interviews with police, he admitted committing the armed robbery, officials said. He was booked into the Merced County Jail.

Fong said it took so long to receive the DNA results because the lab is backed up with requests.

— Sun-Star staff

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