The string of robberies ended Feb. 1 in Crystal, much like it started, with a man calmly walking into a Cub Foods branch of TCF bank and handing a teller a note demanding money, according to Crystal police and the FBI.
Each time, police said, the suspect took the cash and fled the scene in a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
In the most recent incident, which occurred just before 2 p.m. at the Cub Foods at 5301 36th Av., authorities said the suspect passed a note implying he was armed and told the teller: “Don’t make a scene or I will shoot you.”
As she stuffed $1,188 worth of bills into his bag, he reportedly warned her not to “put bait bills in the bag or I’ll shoot you.”
Police said that 24-year-old Marcus Houston was arrested later that day, after he was found holed up inside the bathroom of an Arby’s in nearby Brooklyn Center. His alleged accomplice, Tavarus Hardaway, 48, of St. Louis Park, was also taken into custody after getting into a fender-bender in the fast food restaurant’s parking lot.
The Monte Carlo was later towed to a police impound lot.
Both men have been charged with second-degree aggravated robbery, but more charges could be forthcoming because authorities say that surveillance footage has connected them and the Monte Carlo to several other robberies in the area.
The three robberies that preceded the most recent incident occurred over a seven day span, according to police: Jan. 22 at 3620 Texas Av. S. branch in St. Louis Park, Jan. 26 at the 5937 Nicollet Av. S. branch in Minneapolis and Jan. 29 at the 7555 W. Broadway branch in Brooklyn Park.
After the first robbery, police stuck a GPS tracking device to the alleged getaway car to help them build a case against the two suspects.
Both men are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, authorities said.