Police arrested two people Thursday in St. Paul who are charged with robbing a small Hopkins grocery store of tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other items at gunpoint, blindfolding three employees with duct tape and fleeing in one victim's vehicle.

Authorities apprehended Darius C. Elam, 29, at his St. Paul home along with Ryan M. Elam, 28, of Brooklyn Center late Thursday morning while law enforcement searched the residence in connection with the robbery on Feb. 15 of US Grocery and Tobacco in the 500 block of N. Blake Road, said Hopkins Police Chief Brent Johnson.

Both were charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with three counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. In addition, Darius Elam was charged with illegal possession of a gun stemming from a felony conviction in Illinois for aggravated robbery with a gun.

The two remain jailed in lieu of $750,000 bail each. Darius Elam is due in court Friday. A court date for Ryan Elam has yet to be scheduled. Court records do not yet list an attorney for either of them.

What the three store employees endured "was horrific and deeply affected them," the chief said. "It's a significant crime for our community."

A search warrant affidavit filed in court by police on Tuesday said that roughly $100,000 in cash was stolen from the store's safe. The criminal complaints filed the next day put the store's losses at $45,000 in cash and other items. The police chief told the Star Tribune that the latter figure is correct.

The complaints did not reveal how the Elams are related. Johnson said "they may be cousins, but this has yet to be verified."

According to the charges and related court records:

The Elams entered the store brandishing semiautomatic pistols. Ryan Elam made one employee lock the store entrance, forced her to sit on the floor in the back and duct-taped her hands over her eyes.

Darius Elam bound a second employee's feet with duct tape and made her open two cash registers. He grabbed cash from the registers and duct-.taped her hands over her eyes.

Darius Elam demanded from the manager the code to open a safe. The manager began offering the wrong code, then said "never mind." Darius Elam responded, "Do that again, and you're not going to leave here."

While entering the correct code, Darius Elam said, "If it doesn't work this time, you know what's going to happen." The safe opened, and Darius Elam emptied it.

The Elams had the manager try to open a second safe, but she said she did not know the code.

"I think you're lying," Darius Elam said before hitting the manager, who was blindfolded in the same manner as the other two.

While on the floor, the manager was pistol-whipped in the back of the head, and teeth loosened from her head being pushed into the floor.

The Elams took the employees' cellphones and other possessions, including the manager's gun, and stole an employee's SUV.

Police found the SUV abandoned and crashed, with a roll of duct tape inside, about a quarter-mile away at the Ramsgate Apartments. One of the suspects walked from the SUV a short distance to a car, which drove off.

The car was found outside Darius Elam's home, where the arrests occurred.