A masked robber who forced a store clerk into a freezer after stealing more than $500 has been arrested, according to the Box Elder Police Department.
The man entered the YesWay convenience store at 640 Box Elder Road West around 3:20 a.m on Nov. 13, Police Chief Jason Dubbs said in a news release. The man threatened the clerk, stole the money from the cash register, and then ordered the clerk into the freezer before fleeing in a stolen car.
The clerk, who was not injured, was able to identify the suspect to the police because he had been in the store earlier that night and then changed his coat and put on a ski mask, detective Duane Peyrot told the Journal. The clerk also said the suspect had kept his hands in his jacket and gestured as if he was carrying a handgun.
Rapid City police officers found the stolen vehicle at the Walmart on Stumer Road on Nov. 18, the release says. Three people were taken into custody and officers were able to learn more information about the suspect.
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Two days later, Rapid City police officers found the suspect, 46-year-old Paul Wayne Cruz of Rapid City, during a traffic stop, the release says. Cruz was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including second-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping.
"Box Elder police would like to recognize RCPD for their outstanding support and proactive police work on this investigation," Dubbs said in the news release.