Ice tea bottle leads Norwich detectives to burglary suspects - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Ice tea bottle leads Norwich detectives to burglary suspects

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Eric Melendez's DNA was found on an ice tea bottle left at the scene of a burglary in Norwich last summer. (Norwich police) Eric Melendez's DNA was found on an ice tea bottle left at the scene of a burglary in Norwich last summer. (Norwich police)
NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

DNA from a discarded ice tea bottle led police in Norwich right to two convicted felons following a burglary at an electrical companies.

Police said they identified 44-year-old Eric Melendez of Griswold and 43-year-old Walter Spraski as the suspects.

The burglary happened on June 9, 2016 at the Prime Electric and Lantern Energy businesses in the Stanley Israelite Business Park on Wisconsin Avenue.

Employees from both companies reported that company vehicles has been broken into and items were taken.

The companies reported a total of $5,488 in stolen tools and equipment and $2,500 in damage.

Surveillance video showed two suspects entering the vehicles and taking the items.

A pathway to the rear of the business revealed the ice tea bottle and a drill belonging to Prime Electric. Both, along with other items, were seized by Norwich police as evidence.

Detectives said they learned in Dec. 2016 that DNA from the bottle belonged to Melendez, a former inmate. They said he turned himself in on Wednesday.

An arrest warrant charged him with five counts of third-degree burglary, five counts of third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree larceny.

Melendez was held on a $10,000 cash/surety bond and already faced a judge.

The second suspect was identified as Spraski. He'll be hit with the same charges as Melendez.

Police said Spraski is also a convicted felon who was incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center on unrelated charges. He'll be charged at a later date.

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