Three teenage boys were arrested after allegedly using a stolen vehicle and one of the 11 stolen guns from a pawn shop to rob a Rapid Valley convenience store on Tuesday morning.
Two of the teens are 15 and one is 17, according to a news release from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
“It is shocking that a juvenile would be in possession of a stolen rifle, let alone use it to threaten a member of our community,” said Captain of Investigations Tony Harrison.
The teens entered the Corner Pantry at 4602 East Highway 44 just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said in an earlier news release. All three wore masks and one pointed an assault rifle at the clerk. They demanded cash, cigarettes and cigars before fleeing in a light blue sedan.
Two of the teens were arrested 2 p.m. on Tuesday after a pursuit through Pennington County, according to the news release. Law enforcement began following the stolen Camry on Interstate-90 and through Black Hawk before it ended before entering Rapid City due to safety reasons.
The vehicle was found soon after in a parking lot on the 2500 block of West Main Street and the two teens were found near the intersection of West Omaha Street and Mountain View Road. They were arrested on charges related to the robbery and pursuit.
The third teen was arrested while walking in Rapid City early Wednesday morning on charges related to the robbery.
Based on interviews with the suspects, law enforcement believes the teens had been planning another armed robbery for Wednesday, the release says.
“We credit the cooperative investigative work of the sheriff’s office and (Rapid City) Police Department with getting these armed, dangerous criminals off the streets before they could do more harm,” Harrison said. We have a great team that responded quickly and successfully.”
The weapon used in the robbery has not yet been found but law enforcement confirmed it was one of the 11 firearms stolen from a pawn shop last week, the release says.
The weapons — ten AR-15-style rifles and one shotgun — were stolen from Pawn With Us at East North Street on April 20 and 21. Four of the firearms were found in a vehicle and Rapid City home during an arrest and search warrant on the 21st.
Three men were arrested that day and are charged with possessing stolen weapons, said police spokesman Brendyn Medina.
He said seven firearms are still missing and police are still investigating who conducted the actual robberies.
“The major concern is that we have a number guns that are unaccounted for” and some have already been used in criminal activity, Medina said. Locating the weapons and robbers is a “priority” for both the police department and sheriff's office.
Anyone with information about the weapons or pawn shop robberies should contact Detective Chris Holbrook at 605-394-4134. Anonymous tips can also be sent by texting the letters ‘RCPD’ to 847411. Anyone with information about the convenience store robbery and where the weapon might be should contact Harrison at (605) 394-6115.
There is a $5,000 reward being offered from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary and/or aid in the recovery of the stolen firearms.
— Contact Arielle Zionts at email@example.com.
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