COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — DNA from a discarded cigarette butt helped police link a convicted murderer to a 2014 River North home invasion, prosecutors said Monday.
A River North man was hoping to sell a laptop on Jan. 20, 2014, when he invited a stranger into his home in the 400 block of West Erie Street, according to prosecutors.
Things quickly turned south when the "buyer" pulled a knife and handgun, and used zip ties to restrain the homeowner's hands and feet, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing Monday.
The stranger then proceeded to steal two laptops, a cellphone, a wallet and $8,500 cash, according to Scaduto. The man left, and the victim was able to contact a neighbor for help.
Chicago Police spotted the attacker on surveillance video smoking a cigarette and tossing it to the ground, prosecutors said.
DNA collected from the cigarette butt would eventually lead officers to 51-year-old Losardo Lucas, a convicted murderer who was arrested on a warrant this week, police and prosecutors said.
Lucas was convicted of murder in 1986 and sentenced to 35 years in prison, court records show. According to Scaduto, Lucas' parole was discharged in 2012.
Lucas, of suburban Calumet City, is currently on probation for failing to register as a gun offender. He also has a pending 2015 gun case, court records show. As of Monday morning, Lucas was free on $30,000 bond in that case.
He now faces an additional charge of home invasion.
On Monday afternoon, Cook County Judge James Brown set bail in the new case at $350,000. To go free, Lucas would now need an additional $35,000, or 10 percent of the total bond amount.
According to his defense attorney, Lucas has worked for a car company for the past seven years. He has three children and several grandchildren.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.