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DNA on beer can links Santa Rosa man to burglaries, fires

A Santa Rosa man accused of burglarizing a series of homes and setting them on fire now has another piece of evidence against him -- DNA.

Test results show Andy Ruben Navarro's genetic fingerprint was on a commemorative Budweiser can found July 10 inside a ransacked and burned house on Fulton Road.

Prosecutors announced the results Friday following last week's preliminary hearing for Navarro, 49, and co-defendant Stacey Perez, 47.

After a private discussion with both sides, Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Navarro on three counts of arson and three counts of residential burglary.

Banyan Place resident Calvin Sanders, whose home was destroyed May 1, was heartened. He and his wife continue to rebuild.

"Half of it you can't put a price tag on," Sanders said outside court. "It pretty much brings tears to your eyes just talking about it."

Thistlethwaite found that Navarro's alleged accomplice, Perez, could also be tried on charges of receiving stolen property. She remained free on $10,000 bail.

Navarro faces life in prison if convicted of the crimes, which occurred between April and July. He was in custody awaiting trial on an increased $550,000 bail.

His lawyer, Gerald Villareal, confirmed the DNA test results. He offered no comment about a possible defense. He said his client faced a possible 40-years-to-life sentence.

Navarro was arrested July 17 after detectives linked him to the string of thefts by the discarded beer can.


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