Before threatening to shoot the employees at a Mount Vernon art supply store and stealing $335 in cash, the robbery suspect made a crucial mistake, police say: touching two newspaper boxes outside of the store.

Kevin Younger, 50, is now facing federal robbery and gun charges after police traced the prints to him, an identification bolstered by witnesses who picked him out of photo lineups as the suspect, records show. 

The robbery occurred on Sept. 27, 2011, in the first block of W. Chase St. at the Utrecht Art Supply store. Three employees were inside the store at about 6:30 p.m. when a man walked in, walked down an aisle, and grabbed a can of paint, according to court records.

When he walked to the register, he placed a bag on the counter and raised his shirt to show a silver handgun. He told them to empty the register, and to hurry up. "You know what a person look like that's been shot with a .22 calibert handgun," he allegedly told them, according to the records. 

The man made the employees get down on the ground, and fled. Detectives were given a description, but also were told that prior to the robbery he had touched two newspaper boxes outside. An impression from one of the boxes was identified as the left ring finger of Younger. 

Lots of people touch newspaper boxes, but in a criminal complaint, an FBI special agent said that the witnesses identified Younger as the suspect. He was first charged in state court, and the charges were all dropped in August. A criminal complaint was subsequently filed in federal court, and Younger will make his first appearance there next week, records show. An attorney for Younger in the federal case is not listed.

jfenton@baltsun.com