3 charged with convenience store robbery

Published: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.

Three men were arrested by Gainesville police Thursday on robbery charges in connection with a Jan. 20 hold-up at a convenience store on East University Avenue.

Arrested were Amar Lamar Barnwell, 19; his brother Ernest Barnwell, 23; and Justin James McCrae, 22.

The robbery occurred about 9:15 Jan. 20 at the Kangaroo station at 2300 E. University Ave.

Videotapes and the statements from the clerk indicated the clerk was walking to his car outside the store and was approached by a man with a gun who pushed him aside and ran into the store.

The clerk was calling 911 on his cell phone in his car when a second gunman approached and told him to get off the phone, threatening to shoot him. He forced the clerk into the store and ordered him to open the cash register.

Both men eventually left with cash, lottery tickets and cigars. They ran away from the store.

Detectives Jeff Nordberg and Courtnay Roberts developed the Barnwells and McCrae as suspects based on information from witnesses. They were arrested Thursday night.

The Barnwells were charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment and giving false information to police. McCrae was charged with armed robbery.

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