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12 23Sat09202014

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Back Local News Suspect allegedly robbed Dededo store for drugs

Suspect allegedly robbed Dededo store for drugs

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THE alleged suspect behind the armed robbery of Econo Mart in Dededo took $200 in cash at gunpoint which he allegedly used to buy methamphetamine.

Jeremy James Laitan Cruz, 28, is facing 17 counts of felony charges after he was apprehended on Feb. 11, five days after he allegedly pointed a handgun at the Econo Mart cashier, Ahyang Shim Ha, and her husband, Kwang Woong Ha.

Cruz was allegedly wearing a black shirt with a red shirt covering his face when he entered the store at around 9:11 p.m. Cruz reportedly pointed a gun at a customer, shouted at a store employee and instructed all to move to the front of the store, warning that he would shoot them if they did not comply.

Mrs. Ha placed a handful of U.S. currency in a white grocery bag which the defendant allegedly grabbed before fleeing on foot. Mr. Ha told police that the weapon was small like an Airsoft pistol.

Five days later, officers of the Guam Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section Office in Tiyan met with an informant who provided information regarding the ongoing robbery investigation.

The informant said that during the evening hours of Feb. 10, he visited a female individual who lives on Chalan Klitas in Astumbo, Dededo. During the conversation with her, the informant said he was told that Cruz visited the woman in the early evening hours of Feb. 6 and borrowed her common-law husband’s black Airsoft pistol.

Confided

The woman reportedly confided that Cruz returned later in the evening and told her that he robbed the Econo Mart and was only able to obtain a little less than $200. She reportedly said that Cruz gave her $150 in exchange for a quarter of a gram of crystal methamphetamine or “ice.”

Cruz also returned the Airsoft pistol.

At about 8:42 p.m. on Feb. 11, the GPD Criminal Investigation Section and Criminal Justice Strike Force Unit executed a search warrant at the woman’s residence in Astumbo and located several black Airsoft pistols.

Officers conducted an interview with the woman who reportedly confirmed that Cruz borrowed a black Airsoft pistol from her boyfriend, and indicated that Cruz was wearing blue jeans and black and white tennis shoes with white stripes.

She also reportedly told authorities that at approximately 11 p.m. to midnight, Cruz visited her and she gave him a “one-dollar plate of methamphetamine.” The woman confided that she had known Cruz for seven years because the defendant is her former brother-in-law and they had a sexual relationship in the past. She told police that Cruz resides with his parents, also in Dededo.

Police showed the woman the store’s video footage taken during the robbery and the suspect was positively identified through his shoes, height and body build. Her statement corroborated the information provided by the informant.

Cruz was located, arrested and confined.

He was charged with second-degree robbery as a second-degree felony with special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon; third-degree robbery as a third-degree felony with special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony; three counts of kidnapping as a second-degree felony; and four counts of terrorizing as a third-degree felony with special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

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