Cops: Home Invasion Suspect Made One Big Mistake

After zip-tying elderly couple, he left his DNA on a Gatorade bottle, police say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2022 1:20 PM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2022 12:00 PM CDT
DNA on Gatorade Bottle Leads to Arrest in Home Invasion
Erik Shaw.   (NYS Criminal Justice Services)

A suspect in a terrifying home invasion robbery in New York City poured bleach in the victims' home to get rid of evidence, authorities say, but he was identified through DNA he left on a Gatorade bottle. Erik Shaw, 52, was arrested this week in connection with the Aug. 23, 2020, robbery, reports SILive. Investigators say Shaw and an accomplice knocked on the door of the victims' Staten Island home posing as Amazon delivery drivers. They forced their way in at gunpoint and zip-tied the two residents, a 69-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman, to chairs before putting pillowcases over the victims' heads.

Police say Shaw and the accomplice knew the woman worked at a bank and demanded that she give them money. When she explained that she didn't keep the bank's money in her home and would be unable to access the vault when she went to work in the morning, the pair took jewelry, cash the husband had from his laundromat business, and the couple's iPhones, police say. Before leaving the home, Shaw took a Gatorade bottle out of the fridge, drank out of it, and left it behind, investigators say. Shaw was charged with robbery Thursday and is being held without bail. His accomplice is still at large.

At the time of the Staten Island crime, Shaw was still on parole for crimes he committed during a 1992 home invasion, the New York Daily News reports. In 1994, he was convicted of armed burglary, robbery, attempted rape, sodomy, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a loaded firearm. Shaw shot Bronx resident Charlene Thomas, severing her spine, and she spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. When she died at age 65 in 2015, the death was ruled a homicide because it resulted from complications from the bullet wound. Records show that Shaw, who had been released on parole earlier in 2015, was not charged in the homicide, reports the Daily News. (More New York City stories.)

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