Father and son charged in Pawn America robbery, shooting


Right to Left: Marvin Spencer; Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer, Jr.

At-large suspects identified in Georgia after bragging, wearing jewelry

A 51-year-old man and his son have been charged with robbing the Pawn America store located at 1715 N. Rice Street in Roseville and shooting an employee in the leg July 21.

Police said the two suspects entered the store "with guns a-blazing" around 5:45 p.m. and made off with fine jewelry and watches within minutes after smashing a display case and shooting a 27-year-old employee in the lower leg.

Marvin Spencer Sr. and his son Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer Jr., 25, were reportedly staying at Lodge Atlanta in Doraville, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, when "a concerned citizen" overheard them bragging about recently having robbed a Pawn America in Minnesota.

The two men were "wearing a lot of jewelry," according to a police statement, and had a large amount of cash.

The woman who overheard the men talking decided to research their claims, and found media reports with photos and descriptions matching the two men's appearances and getaway car, which did not have license plates at the time of the robbery.

The woman then called Roseville investigators and provided them with information about the two men, their room number, location of their vehicle and its Georgia license plate number.

The Dekalb County, Georgia, Sheriff's Department was notified and was able to arrest Spencer Jr. at the hotel. He was later "unfortunately" released from custody on an accidental error, said Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand. However, he was re-arrested at the same hotel after he returned there July 29.

The black four-door Chevrolet Cobalt getaway car was located by the Pike County, Mississippi, Sherriff's Office after a motorist operating the vehicle, whose name is not being released at this time, was pulled over.

The Pawn America employee who was shot reportedly identified Spencer Sr. as the shooter. Currently, the whereabouts of Spencer Sr. are unknown, and he is "considered armed and dangerous," according to a police statement.

Investigators in Mississippi have searched a number of addresses at which Spencer Sr. has been known to frequent, but with "negative results," Rosand said.

Roseville detectives brought their case findings to the Ramsey County attorney's office July 28, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of both men on the following charges:

• Marvin Spencer: attempted intentional second-degree murder, aggravated first-degree robbery, possession of firearm by an ineligible person and two counts of second-degree assault.

• Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer: three counts of aggravated first-degree robbery.

Bail for each suspect is set at $1 million.

According to the police department, the arrest warrants are executable nationwide, so no matter where the suspects are caught, they will be returned to Ramsey County for prosecution.

A police statement warns people not to approach Spencer Sr, as he is "considered armed and dangerous."

Spencer Sr. has several previous felony charges in Minnesota, including felony first-degree aggravated robbery charges from 2000, and Spencer Jr. was convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in 2010.

Rosand said the men stole, at wholesale price, about $78,000 worth of jewelry from Pawn America. The jewelry had a retail value of about $200,000.

Additionally, Rosand said Dekalb County investigators were able to recover images taken on Spencer Jr.'s cell phone of him wearing rings still bearing Pawn America tags. A Pawn America employee was able to identify the tags as ones he had written in his own handwriting.

Rosand, who predicted to the Review that the men would be found after bragging about the incident, believes Spencer Sr. will be found and arrested soon.

"I predict [Spencer Sr.] will be apprehended fairly quickly," he said. "We're using our resources, particularly the U.S. Marshals."

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Spencer Sr. should contact local law enforcement authorities or Minnesota Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Johanna Holub can be reached at jholub@lillienews.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)

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