Police: Man Pulls Knife During Attempted Shoplifting At Department Store

Aaron Lunato and his suspected getaway driver face charges of aggravated robbery and complicity, respectively

A man faces a charge of aggravated robbery after he pulled out a knife while scuffling with a department store security guard Sunday, according to Mentor Police.

Aaron Lunato, 24, of Painesville, was trying to return three cases of shoplifted bracelets at J.C. Penney when the altercation occurred, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said.

He had done the same thing with shoplifted watches earlier that day, Zbiegien added.

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 Michael Ragozzino, 28, and a woman named Tonna Kovacs, 34, was also inside. Both Ragozzino and Kovacs live in Painesville.

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

Police arrested the three and searched the truck. Inside of it, they found heroin, a prescription opiate called suboxone and drug paraphernalia like spoons, needles, cotton balls and more, Zbiegien said.

Lunato was charged with aggravated robbery and possession of heroin and drug-abuse instruments.

Ragozzino was charged with complicity to aggravated robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kovacs was charged wth misdemeanor counts of possession of drugs, drug-abuse instruments and paraphernalia.

Lunato and Ragozzino were arraigned Monday morning in .

GiGi September 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Vickie, Where would you move that this doesn't happen? Seriously, I'm curious as to where that is.
Joey Tee September 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I second that Gina. It's called the real world Vickie, stop living in your own. It's sad that people do these things, but it happens everywhere.
Patricia Stolz September 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
I lived in Mentor my whole life before moving to Fairport Harbor a little over a year ago and let me tell you there is no city any where that does not have some kind of problems. Wether it is some one breaking into house's, stealing cars, theft of any kind. It is the way the world is and will continue to happen no matter where you move too. Maybe now the guy can get some help for his problems and try and make his life better.
s.d Ragozzino September 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM
instead of flinging around bad things to say about these people, maybe we should be prayin for them instead. addiction, especially to heroin is a very hard thing to over come. i pray they will seek help and find a new way to live.
J. Kovacs September 25, 2012 at 06:47 PM
well said Ms.Raggozino .and im sure they would appreciate the prayers.there should have been 2 more in that truck but one was already in jail and the other was in hospital.and he dosent consider himself lucky because he feels like hes in jail too!


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