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Sami Mirza charged in cold-case burglary at water ice store 3 years ago

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Dec 12 2013 12:02:40 PM CST
PLAINFIELD TWP., Pa. -

A man is cooling his heels in jail after being charged in a burglary at a water ice stand three years ago, officials said.

Sami M. Mirza was the thief who took $2,000 from a safe and a total of $200 from two cash registers after breaking into the Rita's Italian Ice store at 501 E. Moorestown Road, Plainfield Township, Northampton Co., late on May 16 or early on May 17, 2010, officials said.

Police were tipped to Mirza's involvement in the crime on April 10 by an informant at the Northampton County Prison, officials said.

The informant said Mirza confessed to the burglary while the two were in jail together between Feb. 25 and March 27, officials noted.

Mirza was also tied to the crime by DNA evidence collected after the water ice store was burglarized, officials said.

DNA samples were obtained from a black and grey striped knit hat left at the scene and blood spattered on a window that had been broken to gain entry, officials said.

On Oct. 2, Mirza gave a DNA swab to police at a medical office in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton Co., and on Nov. 25, the Bethlehem Crime Laboratory said Mirza's sample was a match with the DNA collected at the crime scene, officials said.

Authorities are asking that Mizra pay $2,974 in restitution for the lab testing and $794.55 to Erie Insurance, as well as $2,200 to store owner James Tavianni, court papers show.

Mizra, 24, of 1530 Bette Lane, Lower Saucon Township, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of burglary, criminal trespass and receiving stolen property and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $25,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Dec. 19.