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Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing Mentor Department Store

Aaron Lunato used a knife while trying to steal from J.C. Penney, police said

Man Pleads Guilty To Robbing Mentor Department Store

A Painesville man admitted to using a knife to rob a department store in Mentor.

Aaron Lunato, 24, pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, possession of heroin and carrying a concealed weapon in Lake County Court of Common Pleas.

Judge Vincent Culotta will sentence him Monday.

Lunato was arrested in September after he pulled out a knife while scuffling with a department store security guard.

Lunato tried to return three cases of shoplifted bracelets at J.C. Penney when the altercation occurred, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said at the time of Lunato's arrest. He had done the same thing with shoplifted watches earlier that day.

A security guard found Lunato suspicious and tried to stop him. When he did, Lunato hit the guard in the throat with his forearm, Zbiegien said.

The two scuffled and Lunato pulled out a pocketknife. However, the guard was able to knock the knife out of Lunato's hand and kick it away, Zbiegien said.

Lunato ran into the parking lot where he jumped into a white pickup truck. The truck was driven by 28-year-old Michael Ragozzino.

However, Mentor Police saw the truck and stopped it before Lunato and Ragozzino could get away.

Ragozzino also recently pleaded to attempted robbery and heroin possession in Lake County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Eugene Lucci is scheduled to sentence him Jan. 1

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