Father, son charged in violent Roseville robbery

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 28, 2014 - 11:28 PM

The pair remain on the lam and were charged via arrest warrant; they were reported seen in Georgia.

Marvin Spencer Sr.

Armed with a semiautomatic handgun, a father and son violently robbed a Roseville Pawn America last week and fled to Georgia, where they allegedly donned stolen jewels and talked about their exploits, according to charges filed Monday.

Marvin Spencer Sr., 51, and Marvin Lee Clinton Spencer Jr., 24, were discovered at a hotel in Doraville, Ga., by a citizen who saw the men wearing “a lot of jewelry” and overheard the younger Spencer discuss the robbery, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Authorities in Georgia were able to track down the son, but he was released as the investigation continued.

Both father and son remain on the lam. The pair were charged via warrant.

Spencer Sr. allegedly shot at three employees during the 5:30 p.m. robbery July 21 at the Pawn America at 1715 Rice St. One of the employees was wounded, suffering a gunshot to the leg. Spencer Sr. is charged with attempted intentional second-degree murder, first-degree aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm by an ineligible person and two counts of second-degree assault.

Spencer Jr. allegedly smashed and ransacked a high-end jewelry display case. He is charged with three counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. The men have no permanent address known to authorities.

According to the complaints:

The men arrived at the pawnshop in a dark Chevy Cobalt that did not have a front license plate, which is required under Minnesota law. Spencer Sr. pulled a semiautomatic handgun from his waist and told two cashiers not to move. He shot at and wounded one cashier as they put up their hands.

Meanwhile, Spencer Jr. smashed a display case with a tool and grabbed about $200,000 in jewels, the charges said.

An employee stepped out from behind another counter to investigate the commotion. Spencer Sr. shot at the employee and missed. Still another employee stepped out of an office and was shot at by Spencer Sr., the complaint said.

Both Spencers allegedly loaded the jewels into a bag and fled in the car.

Pawn America received a phone call on Friday from a citizen who said that he or she was at a hotel in Georgia, according to the complaint. A father and son were also at the hotel and were wearing a lot of jewelry and had a lot of cash, the caller said. The caller also said the younger Spencer mentioned the robbery, which the caller then researched online. The caller said surveillance photos distributed by authorities matched the elder Spencer at the hotel.

Acting on the caller’s tip about the room number and the vehicle, the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office located the car and Spencer Jr. at the hotel. The car had a Georgia license plate. Spencer Sr. was not at the scene after leaving because of an argument with his son, the charges said.

Spencer Jr. was arrested on an unrelated charge. His cellphone showed pictures of him wearing gold rings that still had price tags attached, according to the complaint. Pawn America employees told authorities that the price tags had specific codes that matched them to the display case that was ransacked.

The employee who was wounded identified Spencer Sr. in a photo lineup as the shooter, the charges said.

Spencer Sr.’s criminal record includes convictions for aggravated first-degree robbery and burglary, among other convictions. He was released from prison in March. Spencer Jr.’s criminal record includes a conviction for receiving stolen property.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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