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Mask left behind by Little Caesars Pizza robbery suspect solves case year later

DUNNELLON, Fla. – The exact item that an accused armed robber used to hide his identity is the same piece of evidence police say helped them find him a year later.

Last year, Dunnellon police were searching for the man who they say robbed a Little Caesars Pizza.

On May 12,2018, shortly before the closing of the store at 11 p.m., an employee told police a man came in with a gun and demanded money. 

The man, who was wearing a black mask and got away with less than $100, police said.

He took the money but the store owner, Kris Lehman, said he left the most important thing behind.

"As I was walking here, I glanced down and I saw the mask and I said 'That looks kind of suspect,'" Lehman said.

Lehman and a Dunnellon police officer noticed the mask the next morning, about 5 feet from the store's entrance. 
 
"When he picked it up, there were eye holes cut out of it like somebody used scissors to cut out eye holes and right then we knew that that was probably the mask," Lehman said.

DNA from the mask was sent off for testing and, nine months later, it came back with a hit for Brandon Christopher.
            
Dunnellon Police Chief Mike McQuaig said Christopher is a known criminal.

"When they haven't found them you don't know if they're still running the streets and capable of doing other things to other people or possibly coming back to your establishment," Lehman said.

A judge signed a warrant for Christopher's arrest, but McQuaig said they didn't have to find him becuase he was already sitting in prison which was welcomed news for Lehman and his employees.