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Robbers enter Roseville Pawn America with 'guns a-blazing,' shoot employee
Police searching for 2 suspects, getaway car
Lt. Lorne Rosand is confident the Roseville Police Department will catch a pair of suspects who robbed a pawnshop and shot an employee on Monday, July 21.
"You can quote me on this," he told the Review. "They're low-life scum, and we will catch them."
Around 5:45 p.m., two men entered the Roseville Pawn America store, located at 1715 N. Rice St., "with guns a-blazing," and in less than two minutes shot a 27-year-old male employee in the lower leg and made off with a "significant" amount of jewelry and watches, Rosand said.
One of the suspects began firing a black semi-automatic pistol immediately upon entering the store, according to a statement from the police, while the other smashed a display case with an item that police are not yet identifying, "removing an undisclosed amount of fine jewelry and watches," the statement says.
The two men then ran back to their vehicle, a dark-colored four-door 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt without license plates, and fled the scene headed westbound on Larpenteur Avenue toward Dale Street.
Multiple agencies, including the Roseville, Maplewood and St. Paul police departments, responded to the store on reports of an active shooter. On an "active shooter" call, Rosand said nearly every officer, on or off duty, responds to the scene because of the gravity of the situation. Rosand estimated about 10-15 officers were at the store within minutes of receiving the call.
"It's likely the entire crew responded," Rosand said. "We got the call right at shift change, so both [day and evening] crews responded. We just grabbed stuff and went."
The store clerk, who "did nothing to provoke the attack," according to Rosand, was transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The victim's name is not being released.
Rosand said video surveillance suggests the suspects seemed to have some background knowledge of the store's layout.
"They had targeted the [fine jewelry] display case," Rosand said. "It seems like there was a good deal of pre-planning, like they had been in the business before and knew exactly where to go and how to get it."
The first suspect, the shooter, is described as a 6-foot black male in his early to mid-30s with "scruffy facial hair" and a beard. He was wearing a red Chicago Blackhawks baseball hat, plaid shirt, white T-shirt and red tennis shoes.
The suspect who smashed the glass jewelry case is described as a 5-foot, 8-inch black male in his early to mid-30s. He wore a baseball hat with white lettering and a maroon T-shirt.
Neither man did anything to conceal his identity, Rosand added.
"That takes it to the next level that they don't care," he said. "In the 30 years I've been doing this, [suspects are] always attempting to conceal identity, and that's why I feel confident we're going to be able to resolve this."
According to a police statement, the department "believes someone in the community knows the identity of one if not both of the two men who robbed Pawn America."
Rosand hopes people will offer up any information they have about the suspects, adding that there could be a reward for doing so -- in addition to a reward from Minnesota Crime Stoppers, Pawn America is offering a $2,500 reward for any information that may help police apprehend the two suspects.
"People brag about this stuff," he said. "Word (gets) out on the street."
Anyone with information about the suspects should call Minnesota Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Johanna Holub can be reached at email@example.com or 651-748-7813. Follow her on Twitter @jholubnews.
Surveillance video of two suspects in robbery, shooting that took place July 21 at Pawn America in Roseville, Minnesota.
Police are attempting to identify the two men, one of whom shot an employee in the leg. Anyone with information about them should contact Minnesota Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
(Video courtesy of the Roseville Police Department and Pawn America)